Deane R. Hinton
Ambassador Deane R. Hinton had a remarkable 48-year diplomatic career, with his first assignment as a foreign service officer at the Legation in Damascus, Syria beginning in 1946. Among his most notable assignments, he was ambassador to Zaire (1974-75), El Salvador (81-83), Pakistan (83-87), Costa Rica (87-89), and Panama (90-94). He was considered among the foremost Latin American experts in the State Department. He earlier served in other capacities as a Foreign Service Officer: Damascus, Syria (46-49), Mombassa, Kenya (50-52), France, Belgium, Guatemala (67-69), where he directed USAID programs, and Chile (69-71), where he was also director of USAID. In between country ambassadorships to Zaire and El Salvador, he was drawn upon for his expertise in economics, his main area of study, as Representative of the US (Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary) to the European Economic Community in Brussels (76-79), after which he served as Assistant Secretary for Business and Economic Affairs (79-81). He was designated a Career Ambassador in 1987, a rare distinction among foreign service officers.
His memoir, Economics and Diplomacy: A Life in the Foreign Service, was published by the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) in 2015, prepared with assistance from the Association for Diplomatic Studies & Training. AFSA’s president, Barbara Stephenson, commented on his death that Ambassador Hinton was “a legend among foreign service officers.”
Deane Roesch Hinton was born in Missoula, Montana on March 12, 1923, the only child of Col. Joe A. Hinton and Doris Roesch. He traveled as a child with his family according to his father’s assignments in the army. His father served in both WWI and WWII (including the 82nd Airborne). Deane R. Hinton also served in WW II (reaching the rank of second lieutenant in the Signals Corps and participating in the Italy campaign). After the war, he completed his BA at the University of Chicago and had a year of graduate studies in economics. He also attended the War College, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and Harvard University in subsequent years. He had three marriages: to Angela Peyraud, Miren Aretxabala, and Patricia Lopez.
Ambassador Hinton retired in 1994 and lived alternately in the US (mainly Washington, DC and nearby Pennsylvania) and San Jose, Costa Rica. He is survived by his third wife Patricia Lopez Hinton, 12 children (Deborah Ann Hinton, Christopher Roesch Hinton, Jeffrey Joe Hinton, Joanna Peyraud Hinton, Veronica Jean Hinton, Pedro Arrivillaga, Guillermo Arrivillaga, Miren Arrivillaga De Aretxabala, Maria Louisa Arrivillaga Reglemann, Juan Jose Arrivillaga, Sebastian Lopez Hinton, and Deane Patrick Hinton), 13 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren. Contributions in his name may be made to the International Rescue Committee.
The distinguished Career Ambassador Deane R. Hinton died in the morning of March 28, 2017 at his home in San Jose, Costa Rica, due to organ failure. He was 94 years old.