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Deane Roesch Hinton (March 12, 1923 – March 28, 2017) was an American diplomat and ambassador.

Deane R. Hinton
Armed Department of State security agents accompany U.S. Ambassador Deane Hinton in El Salvador circa 1982.png
U.S. Ambassador to Panama
In office
9 January 1990 – 12 February 1994
PresidentGeorge H. W. Bush
Preceded byArthur H. Davis, Jr.
Succeeded byOliver P. Garza
U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica
In office
17 November 1987 – 4 January 1990
PresidentRonald Reagan
George H. W. Bush
Preceded byLewis Arthur Tambs
Succeeded byRobert O. Homme
17th U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan
In office
21 November 1983 – 9 November 1986
PresidentRonald Reagan
Preceded byRonald I. Spiers
Succeeded byArnold Lewis Raphel
U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador
In office
28 May 1981 – 15 July 1983
PresidentRonald Reagan
Preceded byRobert White
Succeeded byThomas R. Pickering
U.S. Ambassador to Zaire
In office
June 20, 1974 – June 21, 1975
PresidentRichard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Preceded bySheldon B. Vance
Succeeded byWalter L. Cutler
Personal details
Deane Roesch Hinton

(1923-03-12)March 12, 1923
Fort Missoula, Montana
DiedMarch 28, 2017(2017-03-28) (aged 94)
Alma materUniversity of Chicago


Hinton was born March 12, 1923 in Fort Missoula, Montana. He graduated from the University of Chicago in 1943 and joined the U. S. Army, serving as a 2nd Lt. during World War II. After the war he attended Harvard University from 1951–52 and the National War College from 1961-62.

A career Foreign Service Officer, his postings included Syria 1946-1950,[1] Mombasa, Kenya 1950-1952, Guatemala 1954-1969, France 1954-1955, and Chile 1969-1973. Hinton was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Zaire in 1974. Poor relations with Mobutu Sese Seko led to him being declared persona non grata on June 18, 1975.[2] He later served as U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador in 1981-83, Pakistan in 1983-86, Costa Rica from 1987–90, and Panama from 1990-94. He was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and American Academy of Diplomacy. Hinton died on March 28, 2017.[3]

Hinton was no stranger to controversy. In 1949, while serving at the US embassy in Syria, he became aware of the US plan to support a coup overthrowing the democratically elected government. His prescient comment was, “I want to go on record as saying that this is the stupidest, most irresponsible action a diplomatic mission like ours could get itself involved in, and that we’ve started a series of these things that will never end.” However, the new government, led by Husni al-Za'im, did the US's bidding and allowed the trans-Syrian oil pipeline, instigated talks with Israel and imprisoned left-wingers and trade unionists. He was executed in his pyjamas within the year, much as predicted by Hinton.


  1. ^ Adam Curtis (16 June 2011). "The Baby and the Baath water". Adam Curtis Blog- The Medium and the Message. BBC. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
  2. ^ Young, Crawford; Thomas Turner (1985). The Rise and Decline of the Zairian State. Madison, Wisc.: University of Wisconsin Press. p. 373. ISBN 0-299-10110-X. OCLC 11548384.
  3. ^ Deane Hinton, Envoy Who Denounced Salvadoran ‘Death Squads,’ Dies at 94
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Sheldon B. Vance
United States Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Succeeded by
Walter L. Cutler
Preceded by
Robert E. White
United States Ambassador to El Salvador
Succeeded by
Thomas R. Pickering
Preceded by
Ronald I. Spiers
United States Ambassador to Pakistan
Succeeded by
Arnold Lewis Raphel
Preceded by
Lewis Arthur Tambs
United States Ambassador to Costa Rica
Succeeded by
Luis Guinot, Jr.
Preceded by
Arthur H. Davis, Jr.
United States Ambassador to Panama
Succeeded by
post abolished