John Gunther Dean, US diplomat haunted by Cambodia, dies

WASHINGTON (AP) — A veteran American diplomat who was haunted by his role in the evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia during the dying days of the Khmer Republic has died. John Gunther Dean was 93.

Dean’s family says he died June 6.

Although Dean served as ambassador to Denmark, Lebanon, Thailand and India, he was perhaps best known for his tour as the top U.S. diplomat in Cambodia. Dean oversaw the evacuation of the embassy in Phnom Penh as the capital fell to the Khmer Rouge and tried to find safe passage for the Cambodians who had battled against the communist insurgents.

Many who didn’t escape were killed.

Dean told The Associated Press in 2015 that he “took as many people as I could” but “couldn’t take the whole nation out.”

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