| Anne Armstrong |
|Born||December 27, 1927|
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
|Died||July 30, 2008 (Age 80)|
Houston, Texas, U.S.
|Alma mater||Vassar College|
|Member of||Center for Strategic and International Studies/Board and Staff, Trilateral Commission|
United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom
Anne Legendre Armstrong was a United States diplomat and politician. She was the first woman to serve as Counselor to the President and as United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom, serving in those capacities under the Ford, Nixon, and Carter administrations.
She was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and was graduated from Vassar College in 1949. In 1950, she married Tobin Armstrong and moved to Kenedy County, Texas. From 1966 to 1968, she was the vice chairman of the Texas Republican Party. From 1971 to 1973, she was co-chairman of the Republican National Committee, and she was the keynote speaker at the 1972 Republican National Convention. (She was the first woman from either major party to keynote at a national convention.) Nixon named her as Counselor to the President on 19 December 1972, which she held from January 19, 1973 to November 1974 under President Ford. During her tenure as Counselor, Armstrong founded the first Office of Women's Programs in the White House, predecessor to the current White House Council on Women and Girls. Fluent in Spanish, she was Nixon's liaison to Hispanic Americans and was a member of a Cabinet committee on opportunities for Spanish-speaking people.
From 1976 to 1977, Armstrong was the first woman United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom. At the 1976 Republican National Convention in Kansas City, Missouri, there was a draft effort to put Armstrong on the ticket as the vice presidential nominee with incumbent President Gerald Ford. Senator Robert Dole of Kansas was instead chosen by Ford. In 1978, Armstrong supported George W. Bush in his successful primary challenge to Jim Reese in their congressional runoff primary in Texas's 19th congressional district. Bush, however, lost the general election that fall to then-Democrat Kent Hance.
In 1987, Armstrong was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan. In 1989, she received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement. She received an honorary Doctor of Laws from St. Mary's University in 1978.
In addition to her public life, Armstrong served on the boards of many U.S. corporations, including American Express, Boise Cascade, Halliburton, and General Motors. She also served on the board of non profit organizations such as Center for Strategic and International Studies and was a member of the Founding Council of the Rothermere American Institute, and the University of Oxford.
Armstrong died of cancer at a hospice in Houston in 2008. She is buried at Oakwood Cemetery, Austin, Texas. She was survived by her 5 children, John Barclay Armstrong II, Sarita Hixon, Tobin Armstrong Jr., Katharine Love and James L. Armstrong.
- "Mayor Jim Reese of Odessa and the Republican Party in the Permian Basin", The West Texas Historical Association Year Book, Vol. LXXXVII (October 2011), p. 138