James Spain, a career diplomat in the US Foreign Service, passed away of natural causes in Wilmington, NC at age 81 on January 2, 2008. Ambassador Spain's life was devoted to serving his country first in the US Army as a photographer on Gen. Douglas MacArthur's staff in occupied Japan and then as a career foreign service officer.
Spain served in Pakistan, Turkey, Tanzania, and Sri Lanka. He retired from his post as Ambassador in Sri Lanka and remained there for another 17 years before returning to the US. A native of Chicago, Spain was the child of a street car conductor and a seamstress who immigrated from Ireland. Spain was the author of numerous books, several of them about the Pathans in Pakistan. (Read more Turkey stories.)