Robert C. Frasure

Robert C. Frasure

Robert C. Frasure (April 20, 1942 - August 19, 1995) was an American diplomat and the first American Ambassador to the modern Republic of Estonia.


Born in Morgantown, West Virginia to parents who were educators, he attended West Virginia University, the London School of Economics and received a Ph.D. from Duke University. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He taught briefly at Duke and the University of the South and contributed to various professional journals including the American Political Science Review.

He joined the Foreign Service in 1974. His overseas posts included Geneva, Bonn, Lagos, London, Pretoria and Addis Ababa. He received two State Department Superior Honors for his contributions to diplomacy in Africa that led to the withdrawal of Cuban troops from Angola in 1989 and the independence of Namibia in 1991. During 1990-1991, he served as the Africa Director at the National Security Council, and was awarded the Presidential Medal for Exceptional Service for his role in the downfall of the Mengistu regime in Ethiopia and the airlifting of more than 15,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel.

He initiated the reestablishment of the American diplomatic presence in Estonia as Charge d'Affaires in September 1991, following Estonia's declaration of independence from the Soviet Union, and was sworn in as the first American Ambassador to Estonia on March 26, 1992.

He left Estonia in 1994 and became Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of European and Canadian Affairs with particular responsibility for Bosnia.


Frasure was killed in an automobile accident on the Igman mountain near Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina on August 19, 1995 while on a mission to negotiate a U.S. proposal to end the conflict in Bosnia. Joseph Kruzel and Col. Sam Nelson Drew were also killed. The trio had to travel over Igman in order reach the besieged Bosnian capital. The main roads, which were not as dangerous as the narrow mountain roads were blocked by the Serbs besieging Sarajevo, forcing the diplomats to take the more dangerous route.

External links

* [ Biography and memorial lectures at the U.S. Embassy in Estonia]

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