Clare Boothe Luce, US Ambassador to Italy and the first American woman appointed to a major ambassadorial post abroad
Clare Boothe Luce (March 10, 1903 – October 9, 1987) was an American author, politician, U.S. Ambassador and public conservative figure.
She was the first American woman appointed to a major ambassadorial post abroad. A versatile author, she is best known for her 1936 hit play The Women, which had an all-female cast. Her writings extended from drama and screen scenarios to fiction, journalism, and war reportage. She was the wife of Henry Luce, publisher of Time, Life, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated.
Politically, Luce was a leading conservative in later life and was well known for her anti-communism. In her youth, she briefly aligned herself with the liberalism of President Franklin Roosevelt as a protege of Bernard Baruch, but later became an outspoken critic of Roosevelt. Although she was a strong supporter of the Anglo-American alliance in World War II, she remained outspokenly critical of British colonialism in India.
Known as a charismatic and forceful public speaker, especially after her conversion to Roman Catholicism in 1946, she campaigned for every Republican presidential candidate from Wendell Willkie to Ronald Reagan.
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