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Ex-U.S. Ambassador to Romania Dies

December 15, 2001

BETHESDA, Md. (AP) _ William Avery Crawford, a specialist in Soviet and Eastern European affairs who was U.S. ambassador to Romania during the Cold War, died Friday at his home in Bethesda, Md. He was 86.

Crawford served in Havana, Moscow, Paris and Prague, Czechoslovakia, before President Kennedy named him minister to then-communist Romania in 1961. Crawford became ambassador when the legation in Romania gained full embassy status in 1964.

Crawford and his first wife, Barbara, founded the American International School to teach the children of U.S. diplomats in Bucharest, Romania. The school began in 1962 with two teachers and six students; today, about 400 students of more than 45 nationalities attend.

He retired from the Foreign Service in 1970. He then taught at the Landon School in Bethesda and served for 10 years as director of foreign relations for a marketing firm in Washington.

Crawford is survived by his wife, Gudrun; a brother; and five children, eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Barbara Crawford died in 1979.

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