Jack Vaughn, Terminally Ill

 This is from John Turnbull:

Leveo Sanchez of Santa Fe has notified me that Jack Vaughn, the second Director of the Peace Corps,  has been taken ill at age 92 with terminal metastatic cancer, and has only days or weeks left. Jack is now in Hospice care at their home in Tucson, Arizona.  He would head the Peace Corps following Sargent Shriver’s appointment to head the domestic Poverty Program under the LBJ Administration,

His service with the Peace Corps was a highlight of a distinguished foreign service career.  For that reason, I hope that many of us420_nm_vaughn_imgcache_rev1298987350644 RPCVs can send an e-mail, via his wife, Leftie, acknowledging and thanking him for all that he did during those early years. Back then, the Peace Corps was not to be taken for granted, and excelled because of people like Jack Vaughn, and Sargent Shriver before him.

It wasn’t long ago we assembled to say “good bye” to our own Andres Hernandez, These were the founders,  I would urge everyone to send a message to this old friend, even if the message is no more than “Thanks, Jack”.  Leveo tells me that Jack remains alert and in good spirits.  Messages will be all the more important this moment. But don’t delay !   

You can e-mail Mrs Vaughn at leftiev@cox.net 

Jack Vaughn began his career as the USAID Mission Director for Senagal and West Africa, 1959-1961. Like Sargent Shriver, Pres John Kennedy, and Warren Wiggins, Vaughn was a veteran of WW II,  He had served in the USMC, during WW II, incl combat at Ewinetok, Guam, and Okinawa, and left the service as Cpt, a company-grade officer, in intelligence. He was a contemporary of  author William Lederer,Comdr,  USN-Ret.  He would subsequently earn a Master’s Degree in Economics.   When Jack Vaughn talked about the Peace Corps, as a path away from war-solutions, he knew what he was talking about.

With the advent of the Kennedy Administration, Jack was tapped to be the Peace Corps Regional Director for Latin America, 1961-1964, owing to his familiarlity with the region, and fluency in Spanish.  He recruited our own Jasin Edwards during that time.  And Our Dick Griscom, a Shriver appointee, served under him in Latin America.

Jack afterward would serve the LBJ Administration as Coordinator for  “La Alianza para el Progresso”, in the State Dept.  1965.

In 1966, when Sargent Shriver left to take over the domestic “poverty program”, Jack was appointed Director of the Peace Corps, and served in that role to 1969. This is where so many of us knew him.

Upon leaving the Peace Corps,  Jack was appointed Ambassador to Colombia, and served in that role until 1970.

Following that appointment, Jack was back stateside, and was the VP for the Development and Resources Corporation, an NGO,  1977-1979.   He was called back to USAID as Asst Administrator for Latin America, until 1980.

Upon completion of his work with USAID, where his career had begun three decades earlier, Jack worked with Leveo’s NGO, as VP and consultant, until 1986.  As recently as last year Jack Vaughn was planning to join us here in Santa Fe. But already cancer was catching up with him.

I hope that many of us RPCVs will take the time to send an e-mail to Jack (see above).   Nothing profound  Just, “Thanks Jack.  Glad you were there when the future of the Peace Corps was not to be taken for granted”.   

Best regards,   John Turnbull    Lower Canoncito


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  • Jack will be remembered by Colombia I at the White House with Kennedy. After JFK made a few remarks , concluding with “We don’t know if this idea will work, and if you have a problem ,don’t write me, write Sarge.” Sarge asked Jack Vaughn to remind the “men” ( Jack was an ex Marine) of the President’s wishes on behaviour abroad.

    A giant of the Peace Corps and he was only 5’2″..

    Dennis Grubb
    Colombia I

  • Ambassador Jack…he still remains a Peace Corps Volunteer at heart. He interviewed me for my staff assignment back to Colombia in 1968, and the interview was all in Spanish. I passed and was sent to Barranquilla as Regional Director for the north coast. Our Director was now our Ambassador and would often come and visit the Volunteers in their sites. As a Golden Gloves fighter, he would come to Barranquilla and referee local fights with the respect and appreciation of the community…Ambassador Jack always had “secondary” projects on hand. Peace Corps Loves you Jack! Bob
    RPCV Colombia 1964-66
    PCRV Colombia 2011-13

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