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Thomas Hughes

(Minnesota & Balliol 1947) (11 December 1925 - 2 January 2023)

Beloved husband of Jane Casey Hughes died January 2, 2023, age 97. Supremely knowledgeable about world history and U.S. foreign affairs, Hughes was a voice of reason inside the Johnson administration on the Vietnam War. He came to Washington in 1955 as legislative counsel to Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota. Hughes then served Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, 1961-1969, as Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research. From 1971-1991 he was president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. In 1965 Hughes helped compose a memo from Vice President Humphrey to President Johnson warning about the negative effects of the proposed intensification of the war in Vietnam. Johnson did not take the advice. Hughes's off-the-record speeches during that period have been published in Speaking Up and Speaking Out. Several of his speeches to Anglo-American audiences have been published in Oxford After Dinner. The lighter moments of his career in diplomacy and the foundation world have also appeared in book form as Anecdotage. In person as well as in print, Hughes was known for his intelligence and charm. (A full biography of Hughes, by intellectual historian Bruce L.R. Smith is entitled The Last Gentleman.) Hughes's friend Sanford Ungar, former director of the Voice of America, once wrote, "If there is anyone in Washington who can credibly lay claim to the moniker of "smartest person in the room"-any room, anytime-it is Tom Hughes. There is also a good chance, in most rooms he steps into, that he is the funniest, the best piano player, and has the clearest memory for historical detail." A native of Mankato MN, Hughes was immensely proud of his small-town roots and of his Welsh and German forebears. A national debate champion in high school and college, Hughes in 1944, age 18, was elected national president of Student Federalists, working for a postwar union of democracies. In 1944 he spoke at both the Republican and Democratic conventions, and in 1945 attended the founding conference of the United Nation in San Francisco. After graduating from Carleton College in 1947, Hughes was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford (Balliol). (Under President Nixon in 1969-1970, he was Deputy Chief of Mission in the American Embassy in London, a short but happy return to England.) Following a Yale Law School degree and Air Force service, Hughes made the move to Capitol Hill first as legislative counsel to Rep. Chester Bowles (D-CT) before joining Senator Humphrey's staff. Hughes's first wife, journalist and designer Jean Hurlburt Reiman, died in 1993. In 1995 Hughes married Jane Casey Kuczynski, a former reporter for the Voice of America, who survives him. Also surviving are a sister Mrs. Marianne Hughes Nordholm of Oak Park Heights, MN; and two sons from his first marriage - Thomas Evan Hughes (and wife Lynn McCary) of Brooklyn, NY and Allan Cameron Hughes of Athens, GA. Also surviving are a nephew and nieces Bradford Nordholm, Sarah Davis, Karen Anderson, and their children. Three Kuczynski stepchildren and five step-grand- children also survive.