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Walter J. Stoessel, Jr. Papers

Identifier: GTM-940210

Scope and Contents Note

The Walter J. Stoessel, Jr. Papers document the diplomatic service of Ambassador Stoessel, who was the United States Ambassador to Poland (1968-1972), the Ambassador to the Soviet Union (1974-1976), and the Ambassador to West Germany (1976-1981). Also, some of the materials date to his work as Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs and Deputy Secretary of State. Stoessel's impressive career is covered in this collection. Extensive, detailed information about political, economic, social, and diplomatic issues facing the Unites States comprise this rich collection. The Stoessel Papers consist of copies of original State Department documents which were released upon the application by Mrs. Mary Ann Stoesel, Walter's widow, through the Freedom of Information Act. The Stoessel Papers are preserved in 15 archival boxes (7.25 linear feet).


  • 1951 - 2003
  • Majority of material found within 1968 - 1982

Conditions Governing Access

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off-site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Biographical Sketch

Walter J. Stoessel, Jr. (1920-1986) was born on January 24, 1920, in Manhattan, Kansas. He moved with his family first to Massachusetts and next to California. Stoessel studied international affairs and political science at Stanford University.

Stoessel had an extraordinary diplomatic career. From 1942 to 1944, he served as vice consul in Caracas, Venezuela. Next, he worked as a second secretary in Moscow for two years beginning in 1947. Then, Stoessel served in West Germany and France, returning to Moscow as minister-counselor from 1963 to 1965.

Stoessel's first ambassadorship was in Poland from 1968 to 1972. He became Ambassador to the Soviet Union, where he was posted from 1974 to 1976. So, too, Stoessel served as Ambassador to West Germany from 1976 to 1981. In the 1980s, he held the position of Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs and Deputy Secretary of State.

[Source: Obituary of Stoessel in "Chicago Tribune" online. December 11, 1986.]


7.5 Linear Feet (16 boxes)

Language of Materials


Walter J. Stoessel, Jr. Papers
Scott S. Taylor. Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections, Washington, D.C.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057