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Anthony B. Akers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Anthony B. Akers
Anthony Akers.jpg
9th United States Ambassador to New Zealand
In office
July 18, 1961 – August 25, 1963
PresidentJohn F. Kennedy
Preceded byFrancis H. Russell
Succeeded byHerbert B. Powell
Personal details
Born(1914-10-19)October 19, 1914
Charlotte, Texas
DiedApril 1, 1976(1976-04-01) (aged 61)
Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina
Political partyDemocratic

Anthony Boyce Akers (October 19, 1914 – April 1, 1976) was an American attorney who served as the United States Ambassador to New Zealand from 1961 to 1963.[1]

Akers was born in Charlotte, Texas, near San Antonio, and attended the University of Texas, later graduating from Columbia Law School. Enlisting in the US Navy in 1940, he served in the Pacific as lieutenant commander of a PT boat, and was awarded a Silver Star and two Presidential citations.[2] He was one of four officers who became the fictionalized heroes of William L. White's 1942 novel They Were Expendable, based on his Squadron 3's evacuation of General Douglas MacArthur and President Manuel Quezon from Corregidor to Australia.[3] When John Ford filmed the story, Akers served as a technical advisor.[4]

During the Korean War, Akers served as Deputy Assistant Secretary and Deputy Under‐Secretary of the Air Force. He was director of the New York City office of the State Department of Commerce until 1958. He ran unsuccessfully for Congress as a Democrat in the East Side 17th District three times: in 1954, 1956 and 1958.[2]

Akers had first met John F. Kennedy in World War II; Akers ran the motor torpedo boat training squadron in Melville, Rhode Island where Kennedy trained.[3] Kennedy campaigned for Akers in the latter's 1956 bid for Congress,[3] and Akers served as executive chairman of the NY Citizens' Committee for Kennedy-Johnson in 1960. On winning the presidency, Kennedy appointed Akers Ambassador to New Zealand in June 1961, where he represented the United States until August 25, 1963.[5][6] During his time in New Zealand, he tried to convince the ANZUS partner to send advisory personnel to the war in Vietnam.[3] Akers returned to the USA intending to take over the job of Chief of Protocol from Angier Biddle Duke, working with Kennedy, but this was rendered moot by the President's assassination.[3] Akers returned to practising law, but assisted with the 1968 Presidential campaign of Robert F. Kennedy; he was present at the Ambassador Hotel when Kennedy was assassinated.[3]

Akers died of a heart attack on April 1, 1976, in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, aged 61.[2] His daughter was the actress Andra Akers.[7]

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  • ✪ Bakers Mashup at the Jimmy Awards



  1. ^ "Redlands Daily Facts from Redlands, California on August 1, 1963 · Page 2". 1963-08-01. Retrieved 2018-08-02.
  2. ^ a b c "Anthony B. Akers, Ran for Congress". The New York Times. 2 April 1976. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Moss, William W. (17 July 1971). "Akers, Anthony B.: Oral History Interview - JFK #1, 7/17/1971". JFK Presidential Library. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  4. ^ McBride, Joseph (2011). Searching for John Ford. University Press of Mississippi. p. 403. ISBN 160473468X.
  5. ^ Tananbaum, Duane (2016). Herbert H. Lehman: A Political Biography. New York: SUNY Press. p. 604. ISBN 1438463170.
  6. ^ "Former U.S. Ambassadors to New Zealand". US Embassy and Consulate in New Zealand. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  7. ^ "Andra Akers Obituary - Los Angeles, CA | Los Angeles Times". Retrieved Apr 19, 2019.
This page was last edited on 14 October 2019, at 16:27
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