U.S. Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger


Client: Lawrence Eagleburger, Charlottesville, VA
Category: Personal blog consulting and development of content architecture
Summary: Help this former U.S. Secretary of State to develop a personal blog site

Starting in 2008 and until his passing in 2010, I had the good fortune to become a friend of, and for a brief time, a consultant to former U.S. Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger.  He’d been a Charlottesville resident for many years, and was something of a local celebrity, especially as he regularly appeared on national TV news programs.  Here is a 4 minute retrospective video of this remarkable man’s life, by PBS.


Sec. Eagleburger during one of his many appearances on national Sunday morning talk shows.  See some examples here.

By the time we became acquainted, he was in his late 70s, and in deteriorating health.  But he and I had numerous in-depth discussions at his farm, just west of Charlottesville, on subjects ranging from national security, civic education, technology and blogging, and our friendship blossomed from there.

For some time, I’d been urging him to create his own blog site, so that he could:

  • Express, in his own time and at his own pace, the thoughts he had on many national security and foreign relations issues, rather than always being confined to answering questions in short-form TV interviews.
  • Fulfill his desire to share basic civic and historical knowledge with young people (who are largely unaware of these basics).
  • Raise awareness of public issues he cared about most: nuclear nonproliferation, and later, human trafficking (shortly before his passing he appeared in a promotional video for an NGO that is fighting this scourge).

After much prodding, he agreed that this would be a good investment of his time, and we began working together as his time and health permitted.

The first part of our work was to lay the foundation for the structure of the site, then construct an archive of his previous media appearances. See one of the pages of this archive, from 2010, here.

As I was working on these tasks, he began developing his first few articles.  Soon after, I developed the site title and banner graphic: “DIPLOMATIC DISPATCHES: The Blog Of Lawrence Eagleburger.”

Unfortunately, our time ran out.  In early June 2011, one year after his beloved wife Marlene passed away, Sec. Eagleburger contracted pneumonia.  He died on June 4, the day we were to get together to work on his first blog article (on the Israel-Palestinian conflict).  Here is the state that his website was in when he passed:

The only part of the site that had been personally written by Sec. Eagleburger, describing its purpose, and his grief over the loss of his beloved wife.

The only part of the site that had been personally written by Sec. Eagleburger, describing its purpose, and his grief over the loss of his beloved wife.

While Sec. Eagleburger and I had spirited, fun disagreements and debates on policy issues (he was more of a pragmatic conservative, I more of a civil libertarian), I viewed him as a genuine American patriot, and it was a great honor to have gotten to know him as well as I did.

(Note: As I have no pictures with, or testimonial from Sec. Eagleburger, his sons Drew and Jason will validate the work I did for him, and his view on its value; email me for their contact information.)

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