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James I. Loeb (1908-1992)
Third US Ambassador to Guinea


James Isaac Loeb, Jr. was born August 18, 1908, in Highland Park, Illinois. After obtaining his B.A. degree from Dartmouth College in 1929, he spent 10 months in France studying the language. He went to Northwestern University as a Romance Languages teacher in 1930, and received his M.A. degree there in 1931. Loeb married Ellen Katz in 1932. He earned his Ph.D. from Northwestern in 1936, and the following year moved to New York to teach languages at Townsend Harris High School.

Loeb’s first love, however, was politics. In 1941, he left teaching to co-found, with Reinhold Niebuhr, the Union For Democratic Action. He was Executive Director until 1947, when he left to found Americans For Democratic Action. He was a consultant to President Truman’s legal counsel, Charles S. Murphy, for 4 months in 1951 — 1952, and later was Executive Assistant to W. Averell Harriman for several months. Loeb and a partner bought a smalltown newspaper, The Adirondack Enterprise, of Saranac Lake, New York in 1953. Loeb, as president, editor, and publisher, ran the newpaper until 1970. He was active in civic affairs, being named to the Whiteface Mountain Authority by Governor Harriman in 1957, and co-founding North Country Community College in the late 1960’s; he was also one of the first trustees.

In 1961, President Kennedy named Loeb Ambassador to Peru, but the political situation in that country led him to resign in 1962. He was named Ambassador to Guinea in 1963, and stayed on there until 1965, when he returned to Saranac Lake. He retired from the newspaper in 1970; he and his wife soon divorced. Loeb married Anna Frank in 1971, and in 1978 they moved to the Upper Valley. Anna Frank Loeb had been engaged in fundraising for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fundfor many years; they established the Upper Valley Fund for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and were responsible for bringing many well-known speakers to the area.

Loeb received a Distinguished Service Award from North Country Community College in 1983; he celebrated his 75th birthday that year at a huge party for family and friends. He had been interviewed by oral historians, The Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, The Valley News, and other publications as one knowledgeable of the political arena of the 1940’s-1960’s. His health, however, began to fail, and he died in early 1992.

Source: Dartmouth College

Bibliography from the Darmouth College Library Papers

  • Justice in Guinea, author unidentified; in The Review: International Commission of Jurists, No. 7, December 1971, photocopy
  • “The Tyrant Everybody Cultivates”, by David Reed; in Reader’s Digest, August 1972
  • Introduction: First Draft of Introduction to Alata Book, by James I. Loeb, William Attwood, and Robinson McIlvaine
  • List of political detainees in Guinea, and list of those who were condemned to death, or died in prison
  • Guinée Perspectives Nouvelles, Organe du Regroupement des Guineens à l’Exterieur (RGE); September-November 1972, January, April, May, July, August, October 1973, January, August-September 1974, January, April 1975
  • The International League for Human Rights; June 8, 1977
  • Parti Démocratique de Guinée : Poèmes Militants, by Ahmed Sékou Touré; March 1964
  • République de Guinée Dossier No. 1, Les Détenus Politiques (1970-1971), edited by L’Association pour la Promotion et La Défense des Droits de L’Homme en République de Guinée;, 28 septembre 1976
  • The International League for Human Rights Communication to the United Nations on a Consistent Pattern of Violations of Human Rights in the Republic of Guinea; 1977
  • Memorandum sur la situation en Guinée après les évènements du 22 Novembre 1970, by Le Regroupement des Guinéens à l’Extérieur; mimeo, 1971
  • “Policies for Guinea’s Economic Development,” by Gustav F. Papanek and Elliot J. Berg; mimeo, 1963
  • Provisional Verbatim Record of the Two Thousand and First Meeting (of the) United Nations Security Council; April 7, 1977
  • Rapport de la Mission Spéciale du Conseil de Securité en République de Guinée constituée en vertu de la Résolution 289; 1970

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