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OBITUARIES | Passings | Harlan Cleveland

Former NATO ambassador

June 16, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Harlan Cleveland, 90, a former U.S. ambassador to NATO who led the University of Hawaii for five years, died May 30 of bone marrow cancer in a continuing care facility in Sterling, Va.

Cleveland was president of the University of Hawaii from 1969 to 1974 after serving as President Johnson's ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization for four years.

During his tenure as university president, the University of Hawaii at Hilo was created and the William S. Richardson School of Law opened.

Cleveland held the presidency during campus protests against the Vietnam War, which included sit-ins at his office and the burning of the ROTC building on the Manoa campus on Oahu.

After leaving the university, Cleveland led the international affairs program of the Aspen Institute before becoming the founding dean of the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. He retired as a professor.

Cleveland was born in New York City on Jan. 19, 1918. He studied in Switzerland as a child and went on to attend Andover Academy, Princeton University and Oxford University as a Rhodes scholar.

In the 1950s, he was executive editor and then publisher of the Reporter magazine in New York and later dean of Syracuse University's Maxwell Graduate School for Citizenship and Public Affairs.

Before becoming the ambassador to NATO, Cleveland was an assistant secretary of state for International Organization Affairs.

A prolific writer, Cleveland penned a dozen books, including "Birth of a New World: An Open Moment for International Leadership" with former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara.

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