Foy Kohler, the U.S. ambassador to Moscow during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, died Sunday in a hospital in Jupiter, Fla., the New York Times reported Wednesday. He was 82.
Kohler, a Soviet specialist and former director of the Voice of America, was assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs when President John F. Kennedy sent him to Moscow in the summer of 1962.In October 1962, President Kennedy addressed the nation, saying that the Soviet Union had placed offensive missiles in Cuba. Kennedy ordered the Navy to head off Soviet ships bound for Cuba and threatened a full-scale attack on the Soviet Union if missiles from Cuba were to strike the United States.
The Soviets told Washington, through Kohler, that the naval quarantine risked nuclear war.
Kohler was a conduit for the mostly backstage diplomacy that allowed Nikita Khrushchev to back down from his public position and recall the missiles. And Kennedy gave assurances that Cuba was safe from attack.
Kohler left Moscow in 1966 to become deputy undersecretary of state for political affairs. He spent 10 years teaching at the University of Miami's Graduate Center for Advance Foreign Studies.