David Harlech
5th Baron Harlech, Member of Parliament and Ambassador to the United States
David Harlech
David Ormsby-Gore, 5th Baron Harlech's personal information overview.
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  • 1985
    Age 66
    Died on January 26, 1985.
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  • 1969
    Age 50
    He had an active interest in the avant-garde, and for nearly ten years, beginning in 1969, was patron of the Institute for Research in Art and Technology. Lord Harlech married Sylvia Thomas, daughter of Hugh Lloyd Thomas and Hon Guendaline Ada Bellew, on 9 February 1940. They had five children: Lady Harlech died in a car accident on 30 May 1967. On 11 December 1969 Lord Harlech married Pamela Colin. They had one daughter: Lord Harlech was seriously injured in a car crash at Montford Bridge near Shrewsbury on the evening of 25 January 1985 and died at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital the following morning, aged 66. Senator Edward Kennedy, Jacqueline Onassis and other Kennedy family members attended his funeral in Llanfihangel-y-traethau. He was succeeded in the barony by his second and only surviving son, Francis. Ormsby-Gore was portrayed by Peter Donat in the 1974 television play The Missiles of October, which was about the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
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  • 1963
    Age 44
    According to the Duchess of Devonshire, who travelled with the British delegation to Kennedy's funeral in November 1963, Macmillan's successor as Prime Minister Alec Douglas-Home had wanted to appoint Ormsby-Gore as Foreign Secretary, but R. A. Butler had insisted on having this post as a condition of serving under Home.
    More Details Hide Details Ormsby-Gore retired as Ambassador in 1965, a year after his father died, and took his seat in the House of Lords as Lord Harlech, briefly also holding the position of deputy chairman of the Conservative Party. He also had a successful career as a television executive, founding HTV, and served as president of the British Board of Film Classification.
    However the friendship of Ormsby-Gore and Macmillan with John Kennedy helped secure the first Test-Ban Treaty in 1963.
    More Details Hide Details Macmillan and Ormsby-Gore had been attempting to achieve a test-ban treaty with the Russians for the past ten years, and won Kennedy over through letters from Macmillan and frank discussions between Ormsby-Gore and Kennedy. They convinced him to act like a statesman and conclude Test-ban treaties with Russia and not fear being branded as an appeaser by political opponents in the United States. Ormsby-Gore was a participant in what is referred to as a "twenty-five year conversation to do with the role of a leader in a democratic society". He encouraged Kennedy to remain focused on issues relevant to the world and the future, rather than attempting to protect himself politically.
  • 1956
    Age 37
    Under Prime Minister Anthony Eden he served briefly, from November 1956 to January 1957, as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; and under Prime Minister Harold Macmillan he was from 1957 to 1961 Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.
    More Details Hide Details After the election of U.S. President John F. Kennedy he was appointed British Ambassador to the United States. Ormsby-Gore knew Kennedy well from his time in London, where his father Joseph P. Kennedy had served as American Ambassador. Like Macmillan, Ormsby-Gore was distantly related to Kennedy, but had a closer relationship than did Macmillan with the President-elect and his brother Robert. Six months after Kennedy took office Ormsby-Gore was in Washington, D.C. Referred to under the Kennedy administration as "our kind of Ambassador", he supplied Kennedy with a stream of advice and Cuban cigars via his diplomatic bag. He was almost a resident at the White House, being more a friend of the family than a mere ambassador. After President Kennedy's assassination there were rumours of a romance between Ormsby-Gore and Jacqueline Kennedy. These were not likely to have been believed by the family. Ormsby-Gore was one of the pallbearers at Robert Kennedy's funeral along with Robert McNamara, John Glenn, W. Averell Harriman, C. Douglas Dillon, Kirk Lemoyne Billings (schoolmate of John F. Kennedy), Stephen Smith (husband to Jean Ann Kennedy), David Hackett, Jim Whittaker and John Seigenthaler Sr.. Under the Lyndon B. Johnson administration relations were more formal but remained excellent; and Ormsby-Gore maintained his position after the Labour government took power in Britain in 1964.
  • 1950
    Age 31
    At the 1950 general election he was elected Member of Parliament for Oswestry, which he remained until 1961.
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  • 1948
    Age 29
    In 1948 he was commissioned a Major in the Shropshire Yeomanry, but left in 1950.
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  • 1939
    Age 20
    In 1939 he was commissioned into the Royal Artillery (Berkshire Yeomanry Field Regiment), served in the 'Phantom' reconnaissance unit, and worked with airborne and other special units.
    More Details Hide Details By the end of the War he held the rank of major on the general staff. After the war his father handed over to him all his land, and Ormsby-Gore farmed the 400 acres (1.6 kmĀ²) of the Woodhill Estate, Oswestry, Shropshire.
  • 1918
    Born in 1918.
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