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John Wallace Riddle

U.S. Minister to Roumania

Centurion, 1906–1941

Born 12 July 1864 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Died 8 December 1941 in Farmington, Connecticut

Buried Riverside Cemetery, Farmington, Connecticut

Proposed by Myles Standish and Montgomery Schuyler

Elected 7 April 1906 at age forty-one

Century Memorial

In the records of this nation’s career-diplomacy John Wallace Riddle achieved an important and honorable place. While still an undergraduate at Harvard he set his resolve upon this life-work and shaped his education toward it. Thereafter he studied in Paris, especially perfecting his knowledge of the Russian language. There was foresight in this concern, as the sequel of events proved. His first appointment came from President Cleveland in 1893 as legation secretary at Constantinople. Thereafter he served in St. Petersburg and in Cairo and by President [Theodore] Roosevelt was named the first United States Minister to Serbia and Roumania. His reward came in 1906 when he was appointed Ambassador to Russia. His able services in this post touched a number of critical episodes; Secretary [John] Hay had been wont to refer to him as “our Russian authority.” Retiring in 1916 he rusticated for a number of years and then twice returned to public life, first, to enter the Military Intelligence in 1917, and second, to serve as Ambassador to Argentina from 1921 to 1925. His later years were passed at Farmington, Conn., and the Century saw him rarely.

Geoffrey Parsons
1941 Century Memorials