Kill the Gringo: The Life of Jack Vaughn―American diplomat, Director of the Peace Corps, US ambassador to Colombia and Panama, and conservationist

Jack Hood Vaughn with Jane Constantineau

Finalist for the Foreword INDIES Award for Best Autobiography or Memoir
Recipient of the University of Michigan Outstanding Achievement Award in 1966
Recipient of the Distinguished Fiji Award 2016 from Phi Gamma Delta
Member of the Order of the Quetzal
Winner of the 2002 Ecotrust Award
Honorary Doctor of Laws from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts 1998
Honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Montana 1970
1990 Jack Vaughn Peace Corps Fellows Scholarship from the University of Arizona

Kill the Gringo is the wide-ranging, action-packed memoir of Jack Hood Vaughn, whose career in diplomacy, social advocacy and conservation spanned more than twenty-five jobs and eleven countries.

A professional boxer during his college years, Jack joined the Marines in 1941, fighting in the battles of Guam and Okinawa during World War II. His rapport with people and facility with language led to a speedy rise in international development in Latin America and Africa where he drew the attention of Vice President Lyndon Johnson during his visit to Senegal in 1961. Three years later, President Johnson appointed Jack ambassador to Panama when violent anti-American riots there led to a severing of diplomatic ties.

As the second director of the Peace Corps, Jack presided over the largest number of volunteers in the organization’s history and the delicate handling of anti-Vietnam fervor among its ranks. After his foreign service career, Jack led the National Urban Coalition and Planned Parenthood during the turbulent late sixties and early seventies. A rural development job in Iran ended dramatically with the 1978 revolution, and Jack turned his focus to the environment, advising the Nature Conservancy and founding Conservation International in 1987. Told with Jacks’ humor and humility, his stories reveal an astonishingly varied, lively and distinguished career that lasted fifty years and earned him the nickname Peasant Ambassador.


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