Anne Legendre Armstrong (December 27, 1927 – July 30, 2008) was a United States diplomat and politician. She was the first woman to serve as Counselor to the President and as United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom; serving in those capacities under the Ford, Nixon, and Carter administrations. She was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1987.
|Chair of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board|
October 20, 1981 – July 17, 1990
George H. W. Bush
|Preceded by||Leo Cherne (1977)|
|Succeeded by||John Tower|
|United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom|
March 17, 1976 – March 3, 1977
|Preceded by||Elliot Richardson|
|Succeeded by||Kingman Brewster|
|Counselor to the President|
January 19, 1973 – December 18, 1974
Served with Dean Burch, Kenneth Rush
|Preceded by||Robert Finch|
Robert T. Hartmann|
John O. Marsh
December 27, 1927|
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
July 30, 2008 (aged 80)|
Houston, Texas, U.S.
|Education||Vassar College (BA)|
She was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and was graduated from Vassar College in 1949. In 1950, she married Tobin Armstrong and moved to Kenedy County, Texas. From 1966 to 1968, she was the vice chairman of the Texas Republican Party. From 1971 to 1973 she was Co-chairman of the Republican National Committee, and she was the keynote speaker at the 1972 Republican National Convention. (She was the first woman from either major party to keynote at a national convention). Nixon named her as Counselor to the President on 19 December 1972, which she held from January 19, 1973 to November 1974 under President Ford. During her tenure as Counselor, Armstrong founded the first Office of Women's Programs in the White House, predecessor to the current White House Council on Women and Girls. Fluent in Spanish, she was Nixon's liaison to Hispanic Americans and was a member of a Cabinet committee on opportunities for Spanish-speaking people. In 1973, a young Karl Rove, then on his way to becoming the chairman of the College Republicans, suggested in a memorandum to Armstrong that the Republican Party show nonpolitical films (such as John Wayne movies and Reefer Madness) at College Republican clubs as part of a strategy to raise support for the party among students and for fundraising.
From 1976 to 1977, Armstrong was the first woman United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom. At the 1976 Republican National Convention in Kansas City, Missouri, there was a draft effort to put Armstrong on the ticket as the vice presidential nominee with incumbent President Gerald Ford; Senator Robert Dole of Kansas was instead chosen by Ford. In 1978, Armstrong supported George W. Bush in his successful primary challenge to Jim Reese in their congressional runoff primary in Texas's 19th congressional district. Bush, however, lost the general election that fall to then-Democrat Kent Hance.
In addition to her public life, Armstrong served on the boards of many U.S. corporations, including American Express, Boise Cascade, Halliburton, and General Motors. She also served on the board of non profit organizations such as Center for Strategic and International Studies and was a member of the Founding Council of the Rothermere American Institute, and the University of Oxford.
Armstrong died of cancer at a hospice in Houston in 2008. She is buried at Oakwood Cemetery, Austin, Texas. She was survived by her 5 children, John Barclay Armstrong II, Sarita Hixon, Tobin Armstrong Jr., Katharine Love and James L. Armstrong.
|Party political offices|
| Keynote Speaker of the Republican National Convention
| Counselor to the President
Served alongside: Dean Burch, Kenneth Rush
John O. Marsh
| United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom
Title last held byLeo Cherne
| Chair of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board