Archive - May 18, 2017

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Mike McCone takes on the U.S. Ambassador in Malawi
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Mike McCone, early Peace Corps CD, dies in California

Mike McCone takes on the U.S. Ambassador in Malawi

  WHEN MIKE MCCONE arrived in Malawi as the new Peace Corps Director in August of 1965 he met PCV Paul Theroux who was teaching in Blantyre at the teacher’s college, Mike told me when I interviewed him for an article I wrote about Theroux for the January 1998 issue of RPCV Writers & Readers.  Theroux asked for McCone’s permission to resume publishing the Volunteer newsletter, The Migraine, which the previous director had banned because the first issue had an editorial by Paul critical of U.S. policy on South Africa. McCone told Paul he could publish the newsletter. Theroux put together the next issue of The Migraine which was full of prose and poetry, facts and fiction, plus opinion pieces. In this issue, Paul had a two-paragraph editorial critical of U.S. policy in Vietnam. As a routine matter, McCone sent a copy to the U.S. Embassy in Blantyre. Two weeks later, when he was on . . .

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Mike McCone, early Peace Corps CD, dies in California

  Mike McCone, executive director of the California Historical Society during crucial years that were to determine its survival and later board chair at Heyday Books in Berkeley, died May 9 after a sudden onset of leukemia. McCone’s death was confirmed by his companion of 20 years, Charlene Harvey. Mike was 83 and had been living in an assisted living facility in San Francisco. Among the institutions for which he worked during his nonprofit management career, besides the historical society, were the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Grace Cathedral. Mike McCone was one of those famous Mad Men of the early Peace Corps days, but unlike the Washington types, Mike cut his teeth in the agency overseas. He worked on the staff as a deputy in Sierra Leone, and then director in Malawi, Malaysia, Sarawak and back in Washington. He was with the Peace Corps from 1961 to 1967. . . .

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