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Monday, March 31, 2008

Ephilution's Knight of Malta Information for March 31, 2008 Part 2


 

 

Charles I of Austria - Last Emperor of Austria; Last King of Hungary; Last Monarch of the Habsburg Dynasty; Generalfeldmarschall in the Austro-Hungarian Army
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Blessed Charles I (Karl Franz Josef Ludwig Hubert Georg Maria von Habsburg-Lothringen) (17 August 1887 – 1 April 1922) (Hungarian: IV. Károly (Károly Ferenc József)) was (among other titles) the last Emperor of Austria, the last King of Hungary, and the last monarch of the Habsburg dynasty. He reigned as Charles I as Emperor of Austria and Charles IV as King of Hungary from 1916 until 1918, when he "renounced participation" in state affairs, but did not abdicate. He spent the remaining years of his life attempting to restore the monarchy until his death in 1922.

Life

Early life

Charles was born on August 17, 1887, in the Castle of Persenbeug in Lower Austria. He was the son of Archduke Otto Franz of Austria (1865–1906) and Princess Maria Josepha of Saxony (1867–1944); he was also a nephew of Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria-Este. As a child, Charles was given a strict Catholic education. In 1911, Charles married Princess Zita of Parma.

Charles became heir-presumptive with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, his uncle, in Sarajevo in 1914, the event which precipitated World War I. Charles' reign began in 1916, when his grand-uncle, Francis Joseph I died. Charles also became a
Generalfeldmarschall in the Austro-Hungarian Army.

Reign

On 2 December 1916, he took over the title of Supreme Commander to a whole army from Archduke Frederick. In 1917, Charles secretly entered into peace negotiations with France. Although his foreign minister, Ottokar Czernin, was only interested in negotiating a general peace which would include Germany as well, Charles himself, in negotiations with the French with his brother-in-law, Prince Sixtus of Bourbon-Parma, an officer in the Belgian army, as intermediary, went much further in suggesting his willingness to make a separate peace. When news of the overture leaked in April 1918, Charles denied involvement until the French prime minister Georges Clemenceau published letters signed by him. This led to Czernin's resignation, forcing Austria-Hungary into an even more dependent position with respect to its seemingly wronged German ally.

The Austro-Hungarian Empire was wracked by inner turmoil in the final years of the war, with much tension between ethnic groups. As part of his Fourteen Points, US President Woodrow Wilson demanded that the Empire allow for autonomy and self-determination of its peoples. In response, Charles agreed to reconvene the Imperial parliament and allow for the creation of a confederation with each national group exercising self-governance. However, the reforms quickly spiraled out of control, as the nationalities were now determined to pull away from Vienna at the earliest possible moment. Foreign Minister Baron Istvan Burián asked for an armistice based on the Fourteen Points on October 14, and two days later Charles issued a proclamation transforming Austria into a federal union. However, Secretary of State Robert Lansing replied four days later that the Allies were now committed to the causes of the Czechs, Slovaks and South Slavs (in fact, a Czechoslovak provisional government had joined the Allies on October 14). Therefore, autonomy for the nationalities was no longer enough.

The Lansing note effectively ended any efforts to keep the Empire together. One by one, the nationalities proclaimed their independence, and Charles' political future became uncertain. On October 31, Hungary officially ended the personal union between Austria and Hungary, effectively ending the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Nothing remained of Charles' realm except the Danubian and Alpine provinces, and he was challenged even there by the German Austrian state council. His last prime minister, Heinrich Lammasch, advised him that it was fruitless to stay on.

On November 11--the same day as the armistice ending the war--Charles issued a carefully worded proclamation in which he recognized the Austrian people's right to determine the form of the state and "relinquish(ed) every participation in the administration of the State." He also released his officials from their oath of loyalty to him. On November 13, he issued a similar proclamation for Hungary. Although it has widely been cited as an "abdication," that word was never mentioned in either proclamation. [1].

Charles held out hope that he would be returned to the throne of an independent Austria. Instead, the day after he issued his proclamation, German Austria proclaimed itself an independent republic. He then fled to Switzerland, escorted by Edward Lisle Strutt, and continued to pursue regaining power from exile. In 1919, the Austrian parliament passed a law which banished the Habsburgs from Austrian territory unless they renounced all intentions of reclaiming the throne and accepted the status of ordinary citizens.

Encouraged by Hungarian nationalists, Charles sought twice in 1921 to reclaim the throne of Hungary, but failed due to various factors including the lack of support of the Hungarian Regent Miklós Horthy. Horthy's failure to support Charles' restoration attempts is often described as "treasonous" by monarchists. Critics suggest that Horthy's actions were more firmly grounded in political reality than the King of Hungary and his supporters. Charles left Hungary from the city of Baja forever, and later in 1921 the Hungarian parliament formally dethroned the Habsburgs. (For a more detailed account of Charles' attempts to regain the throne, see Charles IV of Hungary's conflict with Miklós Horthy.)







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Blessed Charles of Austria was beatified on 3 October 2004 by His Holiness Pope John Paul II.
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Member of the Order of Malta with the rank of Bailiff Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion, the emperor Charles of Habsburg was a descendant of the emperor Charles V who in 1530 had granted the islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino in sovereign fief to the Order of St. John of Jerusalem.
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Charles of Austria was born August 17, 1887, in the Castle of Persenbeug in the region of Lower Austria. His parents were the Archduke Otto and Princess Maria Josephine of Saxony, daughter of the last King of Saxony. Emperor Francis Joseph I was Charles' Great Uncle.

Charles was given an expressly Catholic education and the prayers of a group of persons accompanied him from childhood, since a stigmatic nun prophesied that he would undergo great suffering and attacks would be made against him. That is how the “League of prayer of the Emperor Charles for the peace of the peoples” originated after his death. In 1963 it became a prayer community ecclesiastically recognized.

A deep devotion to the Holy Eucharist and to the Sacred Heart of Jesus began to grow in Charles. He turned to prayer before making any important decisions.

On the 21st of October, 1911, he married Princess Zita of Bourbon and Parma. The couple was blessed with eight children during the ten years of their happy and exemplary married life. Charles still declared to Zita on his deathbed: “I'll love you forever.”

Charles became heir to the throne of the Austro‑Hungarian Empire on June 28, 1914, following the assassination of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand.

World War I was underway and with the death of the Emperor Francis Joseph, on November 21, 1916 Charles became Emperor of Austria. On December 30th he was crowned apostolic King of Hungary.

Charles envisaged this office also as a way to follow Christ: in the love and care of the peoples entrusted to him, and in dedicating his life to them.

He placed the most sacred duty of a king - a commitment to peace - at the center of his preoccupations during the course of the terrible war. He was the only one among political leaders to support Benedict XV's peace efforts.

As far as domestic politics are concerned, despite the extremely difficult times he initiated wide and exemplary social legislation, inspired by social Christian teaching.

Thanks to his conduct, the transition to a new order at the end of the conflict was made possible without a civil war. He was however banished from his country.

The Pope feared the rise of communist power in central Europe, and expressed the wish that Charles re‑establish the authority of his government in Hungary.
But two attempts failed, since above all Charles wished to avoid the outbreak of a civil war.

Charles was exiled to the island of Madeira. Since he considered his duty as a mandate from God, he could not abdicate his office.

Reduced to poverty, he lived with his family in a very humid house. He then fell fatally ill and accepted this as a sacrifice for the peace and unity of his peoples.

Charles endured his suffering without complaining. He forgave all those who conspired against him and died April 1st 1922 with his eyes turned toward the Holy Sacrament. On his deathbed he repeated the motto of his life: “I strive always in all things to understand as clearly as possible and follow the will of God, and this in the most perfect way”.

Quoted from: Charles of Austria (1887-1922), biography


 

 

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Prince Rupert zu Löwenstein - President of the British Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta; London Based Merchant Banker; Chief Financial Adviser to the Rolling Stones
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Mick Jagger's secret divorce

He's outlasted Jerry, Bianca and Carla and helped the Stones earn £1 BILLION. But now the man they call Rupie The Groupie has quit, what will the famously frugal Mick do without him?

Guests couldn't believe their eyes. There he was, Mick Jagger, one of the most famous rock stars in the world, chasing his manager round London's Savoy hotel, screaming: "Where's my money? Where's my money?"

The Rolling Stone could not believe that after making massive international hits such as Satisfaction and Jumpin' Jack Flash, he and the rest of his band were stony broke.

Not only that, they owed massive back taxes and, worse still, had signed away the rights to their songs.

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Rolling in it: From left, Keith Richards, Prince Rupert Loewenstein and Mick Jagger

Jagger blamed one man for the mess: the Stones' manager Allen Klein. To this day, he resents the fact that Klein holds the rights to all their recordings before 1970.

"From Brown Sugar onwards, the Stones get a reasonable amount of royalties if you hear a song on the radio," says one Stones source.

"But for the records before that, they get something like half a penny. Mick still regards it as a complete rip-off."

The man he brought in to sort out this financial mess was Prince Rupert Loewenstein - an impeccably well-connected Catholic banker, with a cut-glass accent and a fondness for sombre, yet expensive, suits.

Ever since, this jovial character has made an incongruous addition to the Stones' entourage - holding court quietly backstage and at parties -unfortified by so much as a sip of alcohol.

Jerry Hall nicknamed him "Rupie The Groupie" because she mischievously guessed that it would affront the genteel Loewenstein's dignity.

But despite the good-humoured teasing, he has
long been an integral part of the Stones family.

Indeed, some would contend that the partnership between Sir Mick and Prince Rupert has shaped the band every bit as much as the combustible relationship between Jagger and Keith Richards.

But all that is now to change, and the seemingly unstoppable Rolling Stones moneymaking machine will no longer be in control.

Last Friday, the band announced that, after 37 years as their manager, Rupie The Groupie was stepping aside.

He won't be replaced, and will continue to give advice on stocks.

Now well into his 70s, this is effectively a retirement - but no one is using the word for fear of offending Prince Rupert.

Yet it's very much the end of an era - and also the end of a partnership which made rock 'n'roll as a profession lucrative in ways that were revolutionary at the time.

Back in 1970, when Prince Rupert took the Stones on, no one imagined that these Sixties symbols of the counter-culture would become, as they aged, multi-millionaires many times over.

But with Prince Rupert's financial acumen and Mick's abiding interest in making and keeping his fortune, that is just what has happened.

The maths is mind-boggling. Their last tour, A Bigger Bang, took an astonishing £220million.

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Prince Rupert Loewenstein with Jagger's second wife Jerry Hall

Other tours were equally lucrative: 1997's Bridges To Babylon made £197million.

Three years earlier, Voodoo Lounge made £186 million. Even back in 1989, the Steel Wheels tour earned £100million.

Under Rupie's eye, the Stones are believed to have made £1billion - most from touring and merchandising.

There has been nothing like it in the history of modern music.

No wonder Keith Richards says: "As long as there's a smile on Rupert's face, I'm cool."

Popular legend holds that Prince Rupert had no idea who the Rolling Stones were when he was introduced to Jagger at a party in 1970.

A scion of the royal house of Wittelsbach, a dynasty which ruled Bavaria from 1180 to 1918, Prince Rupert Loewenstein was an obscure merchant banker - albeit with great social connections.

He had begun his career working for an independent bank, Bache & Co, before buying a rival, Leopold Joseph and Sons, in 1963.

Josephs specialised in private clients who earned money in several countries and had a reputation for being hyper-discreet.

Mick, the grammar school boy from Dartford, was immediately impressed.

Prince Rupert certainly appealed to Mick's fiscal sharpness, and perhaps, also, to his love of social climbing.

Marianne Faithfull once talked about the way Jagger would accept invitations from "any silly thing with a title and a castle".

The Prince's first piece of advice was that the whole band should become tax exiles, as the Inland Revenue was in pursuit at the time over unpaid income tax.

Similarly, Rod Stewart, Elton John and David Bowie all left Britain to escape Prime Minister Harold Wilson's top tax rate of 90 per cent.

France was the destination of choice for the Stones in 1971.

Bill Wyman ended up becoming friends with the surrealist artist Marc Chagall; Richards rented a Gothic chateau where the band recorded the album Exile On Main Street.

Jagger, meanwhile, led an itinerant existence.

Bianca, his wife at the time, said they paid illicit visits to London, crawling around their Chelsea house on their hands and knees in an effort not to be spotted.

She later said in court papers during their 1980 divorce: "Throughout our married life, he and I literally lived out of a suitcase in a nomadic journey from one place to another in his quest to avoid income taxes.

"On numerous occasions (when Jagger was in America), he told me he had to keep secret the fact that he was making recordings in Los Angeles, so as not to be forced to pay United States income tax."

Meanwhile, Prince Rupert set about restructuring the Stones as a blue-chip company, with four individual firms set up in Holland, each dealing with a different revenue stream.

That remains the basis of the Stones' financing to this day.

Their early tours used VW camper vans - but this haphazardness quickly became transformed into a professional enterprise on a scale which no other band ever attempted.

The result was an immense entourage, including immigration lawyers and fleets of business managers. All of them, until Friday, answered to Prince Rupert.

What the Stones have done - perhaps in the absence of the massive revenues which other stars get just from their songs being played, thanks to the incompetence of former manager Allen Klein - is to have taken the rock tour to unprecedented levels of profit.

They were the first to spend millions on spectacular staging, and the first to slog around the world for years at a time.

Without the guiding hand of Prince Rupert, surely the band would have folded years ago.

Instead, the Stones have proved innovators in their field.

They were the first to add product sponsorship, doing multi-million-dollar deals with Jovan perfume, Budweiser beer, Volkswagen and the Chase Manhattan Bank.

They reputedly got £6 million for allowing Bill Gates to use a snatch of Start Me Up to promote his Windows software.

Add to this the money from tickets (which are always more expensive than for other groups), record sales and merchandise, and you can see how Sir Mick has amassed his £150million fortune.

Prince Rupert has always been there to advise him on what to do with this money.


Jagger is said to have around £40million in stocks, which Loewenstein manages.

Then there is a £30 million art collection and an impressive property portfolio.

For the most part, business is conducted with discretion - but every now and again there is an unavoidable eruption.

For example, there was uproar when the Stones postponed the four-concert British leg of their Bridges To Babylon tour, complaining that Labour's new tax regulations would have made the shows "uneconomic".

The rules stated that Britons living abroad lost their tax-exempt status if they did any work in the UK.

So, once he discovered that it would cost them £10 million, Prince Rupert advised Jagger to scrap the tour.

But Prince Rupert is, despite his retiring personality, very much at home on tour and, contrary to what Jerry Hall thought, revelled in the "Rupie The Groupie" nickname.

During their long professional association, he has witnessed many of the more dramatic chapters in Jagger's life; watching his marriage to Bianca collapse as he fell for Jerry Hall and being there when, in 1991, Hall, in turn, discovered that he was still seeing the model Carla Bruni.

A furious Hall joined a party thrown by Prince Rupert, before giving Mick an earful and flying back to London.

No one knows, though, just what Loewenstein has made of it all.

He deliberately flies under the radar - hardly ever giving interviews and is rarely photographed, preferring instead the seclusion of his £10million Richmond mansion.

He's happily married to his blonde wife, Josephine - indeed, the couple celebrate their golden wedding anniversary this year.

They have two sons - Rudolf, 49, and Konrad, 48 - who have both devoted their lives to serving God.

Rudolf is a priest, while Konrad became a monk.

This dedication to religion can be seen in their father's status as a high-ranking Knight of Malta - one of the most eminent of all Catholic societies.

However, his daughter, Dora, has worked alongside her father in his West End offices before starting her own PR firm - and even edited a book on the Rolling Stones.

A thoroughly old-school charmer who disdains those sections of society he thinks of as "parvenu" or "nouveau riche", Loewenstein counted Princess Margaret as a close friend, even lending her his Caribbean home as a holiday refuge when her health was worsening.

He is not afraid to issue harsh words about the modern worship of celebrities, which is ironic given his dedication to his famous clients.

But Rupie is terrifically grand, don't forget - he worships at London's Brompton Oratory with his close friend General Sir Charles Guthrie, who was the Chief of the Defence Staff until 2001.

He also likes to lunch at Harry's Bar in South Audley Street, Mayfair, and is believed to be a member of the gentlemen's club Whites.

He was a guest at Imran Khan and Jemima Goldsmith's wedding, as a family friend of the Goldsmith clan.

But surely the defining relationship in his life has been his unlikely alliance with Sir Mick Jagger, the snake-hipped, penny-pinching graduate of the London School of Economics.

Mick's rackety personal life - seven children by four different women, the Balinese marriage with Jerry that never was, and so on - must seem utterly alien to his blueblooded financial adviser.

But the friendship has endured longer than any of Mick's romantic liaisons.

Perhaps it's because of the two men's mutual love - of money.







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The British Association

In Great Britain the Order has a long connection with the Hospital of St. John and St. Elizabeth which is in St. John's Wood, London, and is so named because it was an ancient manor of the Order. Founded in 1875, the British Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (BASMOM), as part of the OSJCT (Orders of St John Care Trust), participates in the operation of homes for the aged, in Lincolnshire, Wiltshire, Arundel and Oxfordshire. Currently there are some 2200 residents, the Order being part of the organisation which is the largest provider of protected accommodation in the UK. The Delegation of Scotland and the Northern Marches provides mini-buses for the Order of Malta Dial-a-Journey Service for the disabled. BASMOM also sponsors a leprosy centre in Uganda and a medical centre in Tanzania. The various Associations cooperate in organising pilgrimages to Lourdes and Fatima as well as to other places.

The Order has some 240 British members, many of whom are descended from recusant Catholic families and martyrs. Membership is by invitation, usually after work for the Order. The President of the British Association is Prince Rupert zu Loewenstein (shown here).

In Britain the Order has two auxiliary bodies, the Order of Malta Volunteers in England and the Companions of the Order of Malta in Scotland. They are closely associated with the work of the Order, organising pilgrimages to Lourdes and Walsingham and various fund raising events.

The Grand Priory and offices of the British Association are at Brampton House, The hospital of St. John and St. Elizabeth, in St. John's Wood, London NW8.







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The Rolling Stones, reports Serwer, are a private and secretive organization, and many of their executives, such as chief financial officer Joe Rascoff, tour manager Michael Cohl, and Prince Rupert Lowenstein, a London-based banker who has been the band's business advisor for over 30 years, stay out of the public eye. But they are crucial when it comes to "interlocking" the various businesses linked to the band: touring, merchandising, publishing rights, etc. They oversee a group of four companies--based in the Netherlands, which has a more favorable tax code than the U.K.--each dedicated to a particular side of the business







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APPOINTMENT OF PRINCE RUPERT ZU LOEWENSTEN TO A PAPAL KNIGHT AND HIS PROMOTION TO BAILIFF OF THE SMOM

On 5th December 2006 in a ceremony in the London Oratory, H.S.H. Prince Rupert zu Loewenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg, Count of Loewenstein-Scharffeneck, Vice-President of the Deputation and President of the British Association of the Order was invested as a knight commander with star of the Pontifical Order of St Gregory the Great, in recognition of his services over many years as President of the Friends of the London Oratory, President of the Latin Mass Society, and Chairman (now Chairman Emeritus) of the British section of the Latin Mass society.

Prince Rupert zu Loewenstein has been elevated to the rank of Bailiff Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta; Prince Rupert is president of the British Association of the SMOM.


 

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Delano Eugene Lewis - President and CEO of Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company; President and CEO of National Public Radio (NPR); Director, Chairman of Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee; Director of Colgate-Palmolive Co.; Director of Africare and Foundation Schools; etc, etc...
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Personal Information

Born Delano Eugene Lewis, November 12, 1938, in Arkansas City, KS; son of a railroad employee and a beautician; married; wife's name, Gayle; children: Delano, Jr., Geoffrey, Brian, Phillip.
Education: University of Kansas, B.A., 1960; Washburn School of Law, J.D., 1963.

Career

U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC, attorney, 1963-65; Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Washington, DC, attorney in Office of Analysis and Advice; U.S. Peace Corps, volunteer associate director in Nigeria and country director in Uganda, 1966-69; Office of Senator Edward Brooke, Washington, DC, legislative assistant, 1969-71; Office of Congressman Walter E. Fauntroy, Washington, DC, legislative assistant, 1971-73. Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company, Washington, DC, began as public affairs manager, 1973, became vice president, 1983, president, 1988, and chief executive officer, 1990. National Public Radio (NPR), Washington, DC, named president and chief executive officer, 1993; assumed office, 1994--. National Information Infrastructure (NII), member of advisory council, 1994. Has served on numerous boards of directors and in philanthropic organizations, including Greater Washington Board of Trade, Eugene and Agnes Meyer Foundation, Mainstream, Africare, Washington Performing Arts Society, and D.C. Vocational Education and Career Opportunities Commission.

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Awards

Named a "Washingtonian of the Year" by Washingtonian magazine, 1978; President's Medal from Catholic University, 1978; named to Sovereign Military Order of Malta, 1987. Honorary degrees from Marymount University, George Washington University, and Bowie State University.







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The Honorable Delano E. Lewis, Sr., President of the Constituency for Africa, emceed the Africare dinner







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[center]Delano E. Lewis [/center]   
Director, Chairman of Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee, Member of Personnel & Organization Committee and Member of Finance Committee, Colgate-Palmolive Co.

Delano E. Lewis served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Company (C&P), a subsidiary of Bell Atlantic Corporation, from 1988 to 1993. Mr. Lewis served as Vice President of Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Company from 1983 to 1988. he began his career in government in 1963 as an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice. He joined C&P in 1973. He served at National Public Radio [NPR] as its President and Chief Executive Officer ... from 1994 to 1998, and later as Chairman of the NPR Foundation. Mr. Lewis has been Director of Colgate-Palmolive Co. since 2001, Eastman Kodak Co. since July 2001, Government Employees Insurance Company, Inc. since 1989 and BET Holdings, Inc. since 1994. He serves as a Director of Africare and Foundation Schools. He served as a Director of KnowledgeMax Inc. (formerly Sideware Systems Inc.) since May 2002, Colgate-Palmolive Co. from 1991 to 1999, Eastman Kodak Company from May 1998 to December 1999 and C&P Telephone Company from 1983 to 1993. Mr. Lewis served as Director of Chalk Media Corp., since July 19, 2006 until December 2007. He was named Director of the Peace Corps' East and Southern Africa Division. He serves as Chairman of United Way Campaign, D.C. Youth Employment Advisory Council and Co-chair of The National Information Infrastructure Advisory Council [NIIAC] from 1994 to 1996. He served as Chairman of Eugene and Agnes Meyer Foundation. He has been President of Greater Washington Board of Trade. His lifetime of social, philanthropic, and outreach activities was capped when President Clinton appointed him to be U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa in December 1999, where he served until his retirement from diplomatic service in July 2001. He worked in the Peace Corps as Associate Director in Nigeria and Country Director in Uganda from 1966 to 1969. In the past, he has served on the boards of Apple Computer, Chase Manhattan Corporation, Halliburton Company, Black Entertainment Television, and the Eugene and Agnes Meyer Foundation. Mr. Lewis has also served on the Peace Corps staff in Africa and on the staff of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the United States Department of Justice. He continued his public service on Capitol Hill as Legislative Assistant to Senator Edward Brooke of Massachusetts and later as Administrative Assistant to Delegate Walter E. Fauntroy of the District of Columbia. In 1992, he participated in President-elect Clinton's Economic Summit. Among many honors and awards, Mr. Lewis was named 'Washingtonian of The Year' and awarded Catholic University's America's President Award and the Sovereign Order Of Malta. He has also received honorary degrees from George Washington University, Marymount University and Bowie State University, Kent State University and Lafayette College. With an educational background in Political Science, History and Law, he held memberships in the Kansas and District of Columbia Bar Associations. Mr. Lewis received a BA from University of Kansas and a JD from Washburn School of Law.


 

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George William Strake - Pioneering Texas oilman; Director o/t Mercantile-Commerce Bank and Trust Company in St. Louis; Chairman o/t Board and President o/t Aluminum Products Company in Houston; Founder o/t Houston Tribune
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Died. George W. Strake, 74, pioneering Texas oilman and pillar of the Roman Catholic Church; of a heart attack; in Columbus, Texas. For five years as a wildcatter, Strake drilled dry well after dry well. Then in 1931 he hit oil in Conroe, Texas, in what proved to be the nation's third biggest field. It brought him a fortune estimated at $100 million, much of which he gave to his church—a beneficence that brought him two of the Vatican's highest honors for a layman—the Order of St. Sylvester and the Order of Malta.







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STRAKE, GEORGE WILLIAM (1894-1969). George William Strake, pioneer oilman and philanthropist, was born on November 9, 1894, in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of William George and Anna (Casper) Strake. He was educated in the public schools of St. Louis and received a B.S. degree from St. Louis University in 1917. He served in the United States Army Air Corps in World War I,qv then worked in the oil industry in Mexico from 1919 to 1925. Afterwards, he went to Havana, Cuba, where he lost almost all of the $250,000 he had made in Mexico. In 1927 Strake moved to the Houston area and, as an independent oilman, leased land near Conroe. His 8,500 acres of South Texas Development Company land was the largest block of land leased up to that time for oil exploration. Geologists claimed that no oil was to be found there, however, and Strake could not get outside financial backing; nevertheless, after drilling many dry wells, he struck oil in December 1931. Other successful wells followed in the Conroe oilfield,qv which proved to be the third largest oilfield in the United States. Strake's discovery proved that the Cockfield sand was an oil-producing formation and opened wildcatting in an area fifty miles wide and 500 miles long, from Texas into Louisiana and Mississippi. His oil operations eventually spread into coastal and West Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, the southern states, and as far north as Michigan and Nebraska. His oil fortune was estimated to be between $100 million and $200 million. In addition to his oil interests, Strake was a director of the Mercantile-Commerce Bank and Trust Company in St. Louis, chairman of the board and president of the Aluminum Products Company in Houston, an original stockholder and founder of the Houston Tribune, and an officer in many other companies. In 1937 he represented the governor and the state of Texas at the United States presidential inauguration, and during World War II he served on the citizens' committee for Houston-Harris County civil defense and as Texas representative for Belgian war relief.

Strake, a devout Catholic, gave much of his oil fortune to educational institutions, civic organizations, and charities. He served on the national executive board of the Boy Scouts of America and donated several thousand acres near Conroe to the scouts; the land, named Camp Strake, was the third largest scout camp in the United States. Strake donated $500,000 to the St. Joseph's Hospital Foundation in Houston and thus became a founding benefactor of that institution. He was also a generous contributor to the University of St. Thomas and a member of its board of trustees, and to Strake Jesuit College Preparatory School in Houston, which was named in his honor. He was on the board of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, served Our Lady of the Lake College (now Our Lady of the Lake University) in San Antonio in an advisory capacity, and was a trustee of the Institute of Chinese Culture in Washington. He was also on the board of governors of the American National Red Cross and the Southwest Research Institute and was a trustee of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. Strake was cited as the most generous contributor to the Houston-Harris County United Fund charities. He was a member of numerous professional and civic organizations. In recognition of his gifts and support, Strake received several honorary degrees and four papal honors between 1937 and 1950, including two of the Vatican's highest honors for a layman-the Order of St. Sylvester and the Order of Malta. The National Conference of Christians and Jews, in which he served as a member of the national board, honored him in 1950 for outstanding contributions to business, civic, and religious affairs. On June 5, 1957, the citizens of Conroe honored Strake on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the discovery of oil in Montgomery County by dedicating a monument to him on the city hall lawn; Governor Price Daniel read a proclamation designating the day George W. Strake Day in Montgomery County. Strake was married to Susan E. Kehoe on September 10, 1924, and they had three children. He died on August 6, 1969, in Columbus, while on a trip to San Antonio, and was buried in the Garden of Gethsemane Cemetery in Houston.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Houston Chronicle, June 4, 5, 1957, August 7, 1969. Houston Post, May 1, 1966, August 7, 1969. Time, August 15, 1969. Vertical Files, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin. Who's Who in the South and Southwest, Vol. 2.
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Copyright ©, The Texas State Historical Association, 1997-2002
Last Updated: January 18, 2008


 

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Fred Monroe Zeder II - Ambassador; Chairman and CEO of Hydrometals Corporation; Chairman o/t board of Paradise Cruise Corporation in Hawaii; Director of the Office of Territorial Affairs; President and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC);...
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Ambassador Fred Monroe Zeder II, whose distinguished career spanned both public and private sectors, died March 12 at the age of 82 in Pebble Beach, California, following a brief illness.

A fighter pilot in World War II, Zeder participated in the U.S. invasion and repatriation of Attu and Kiska Islands in the North Pacific. He flew both P-40 and P-38 fighters, retiring from the Air Force Reserve in 1951 with the rank of major.  Zeder was familiar with high speeds.  In 1941, he won a national hydroplane racing championship.  He was also a Golden Gloves semifinalist. was admitted to the Young Presidents’ Organization in 1960.University of Michigan.  His roommate was Prescott Bush, brother of George H. Bush.  Gerald Ford was the university's star football player at the time.  After the war,  Zeder received his degree from the University of California at Los Angeles.  His first enterprise was Zeder Talbott, Inc., an advertising and marketing company based in Los Angeles.

In 1960, Zeder moved to Connecticut to create the Chrysler-Zeder sports car.  One hundred were made in Italy (picture).  He obtained an interest in cars from his father who worked with Walter Chrysler in 1924 as head of engineering at the  newly formed Chrysler-Zeder Corporation.  Previous to this effort, his father had developed the "Zeder Car" at Studebaker which featured a high compression engine.

From 1956 to 1975, Zeder was chairman and CEO of Hydrometals Corporation, a diversified manufacturing company that he moved from New York to Dallas in the early 1960s. He brought the company from near bankruptcy to an international business listed on the New York stock exchange.  The company was sold to Wallace Murray Co. in 1979.  In 1960, he was admitted to the Young Presidents’ Organization. He served as chairman of the board of Paradise Cruise Corporation in Hawaii from 1978 to the present.

Zeder first entered government service in 1971 when elected to the City Council in Dallas, Texas, where he also served on the Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Airport Board.

President Gerald Ford appointed Zeder in 1974 to serve in the U.S. Department of the Interior as director of the Office of Territorial Affairs with oversight for U.S. policy and programs relating to American Samoa, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.

In 1982, the U.S. Senate confirmed President Ronald Reagan’s appointment of Zeder as the President’s personal representative for Micronesian status negotiations. Holding the rank of ambassador, Zeder negotiated the historic Compact of Free Association.  The Compact was a unique agreement that created a relationship of Free Association between the U.S. and the independent countries of the Republic of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.  The agreement facilitated the movement of the Island groups from governmental control under the UN Trusteeship of the Pacific Islands(TTPI) administered by The U.S. to the status of newly independent countries.  The uniqueness of the Compacts that Zeder fostered, is found in the close working relationship between the U.S. and the Compact countries while allowing their complete independence and self-government.  The Compacts were detailed agreements that provide funding and technical assistance while permitting the citizens of Compact countries to live, obtain education and work in the U.S.  The U.S. also provides military security that mutually benefits the U.S. and the Compact countries.

Approval of the Compacts by Congress also cleared the way for a fourth island group, the Marianas Islands, to become a Commonwealth of the U.S.

Zeder was appointed by President George H. W. Bush in 1988 as president and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). In this role, Zeder promoted private investment and supported U.S. national interests in 130 countries. Under his leadership, OPIC played a major role on behalf of President Bush in supporting the Solidarity Union reform movement that ended communist rule in Poland. Following Poland, Zeder and OPIC turned their attention to each Eastern European country that emerged from communist rule. Similar efforts were made in the Soviet Union, Nicaragua, and Panama.

Zeder served as district director of the National Alliance of Businessmen, vice chairman of the Committee of Publicly Owned Companies, and a founding member of the World Business Council. He served as a special advisor to the Fund for America’s Future from 1987 to 1988, a member of the board of directors of the U.S. Air Force Academy, and a trustee of the George H. W. Bush Library. He was also a decorated Knight of Malta.

Zeder was married to the late Martha Blood for 57 years, with whom he had five children. In 2001 he married Dorothy Post Rodgers.


 

 

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