This article includes a list of general references, but it remains largely unverified because it lacks sufficient corresponding inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. (January 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Frederick Nolting
United States Ambassador to South Vietnam
In office
May 10, 1961 (1961-05-10) – August 15, 1963 (1963-08-15)[1]
PresidentJohn F. Kennedy
Preceded byElbridge Durbrow
Succeeded byHenry Cabot Lodge Jr.
Personal details
Born(1911-08-24)August 24, 1911
Richmond, Virginia, U.S.
DiedDecember 14, 1989(1989-12-14) (aged 78)
Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S.

Frederick Nolting (August 24, 1911 – December 14, 1989) was a United States diplomat who served as United States Ambassador to South Vietnam from 1961 to 1963.

Early life and education

Frederick Ernest Nolting Jr. was born in Richmond, Virginia to Frederick Ernst Nolting Sr. and his wife, the former Mary Buford. Nolting Jr. graduated from the University of Virginia in 1933, where he was a member of the Virginia Glee Club,[2] with a BA in history. He then received a master's degree from Harvard University in 1941 and his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. He served in the United States Navy during World War ii.[3]

US Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, RVN President Ngo Dinh Diem and Frederick Nolting in South Vietnam's Presidential Palace in 1961
US Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, RVN President Ngo Dinh Diem and Frederick Nolting in South Vietnam's Presidential Palace in 1961


See also: Buddhist crisis and 1963 South Vietnamese coup

Nolting joined the State Department in 1946, where he acted as special assistant to Secretary of State John Foster Dulles for mutual security affairs. He was appointed as a member of the United States delegation to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1955.[citation needed]

In 1957 he was appointed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower as alternate permanent representative to NATO, and in 1961 he was appointed by President John F. Kennedy as United States Ambassador to South Vietnam.

Following his government service, Nolting went to work for Morgan Guaranty Trust Company, and in 1970 joined the faculty of the University of Virginia and became founding director of the Miller Center of Public Affairs.

In 1988 he published his memoir From Trust to Tragedy: The Political Memoirs of Frederick Nolting, Kennedy's Ambassador to Diem's Vietnam.[4]

Personal life

Nolting married Olivia Lindsay Crumpler in 1940. They had four children – Molly, Jane, Grace and Frances. In 1946, he purchased "Sully", the former estate home of Richard Bland Lee, first Congressman from Northern Virginia, built in 1794. He was the last private owner of that estate.[citation needed]


Nolting died on December 14, 1989, aged 78, in Charlottesville, Virginia. He was buried at St. Paul's Churchyard, Ivy, Albemarle County, Virginia.[5]


  1. ^ "Frederick Ernest Nolting Jr. (1911–1989)". Office of the Historian, Foreign Service Institute. United States Department of State.
  2. ^ Corks and Curls. 1934. p. 157.
  3. ^ 'Frederick Nolting, Jr. Ex-Envoy To Vietnam, Dies,' The Washington Post, Richard Pearson, December 16, 2018
  4. ^ Olson, James Stuart Historical Dictionary of 1960s (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1999)
  5. ^ New York Times, Frederick Nolting Jr., U.S. Envoy To Saigon in 60's, Is Dead at 78 (New York, December 16, 1989)
Diplomatic posts Preceded byElbridge Durbrow U.S. Ambassador to South Vietnam 1961–1963 Succeeded byHenry Cabot Lodge Jr.