Charles F. Baldwin, longtime U.S. diplomat


Charles Franklin Baldwin, who was an ambassador to Malaysia and later the first diplomat in residence at the University of Virginia, died Wednesday at Broadmead after a seizure.

Mr. Baldwin, 91, had lived at the Cockeysville retirement community since 1979.

He was the U.S. ambassador to Malaysia from 1961 to 1964, then held the teaching post at the University of Virginia until his retirement in 1970.

His diplomatic career began in the late 1920s and included assignments as economic counselor in London, consul general in Singapore and deputy assistant secretary of state for Far Eastern Economic Affairs. He also held posts at U.S. offices in Chile, Norway and Trieste.

During World War II, he served as a naval intelligence officer in the United States and Europe and worked with Ian Fleming, who later wrote the James Bond spy novels. Mr. Baldwin left the service in 1945 with the rank of captain.

In 1955, he retired from the foreign service. He then held several posts, including European representative of the Motion Picture Association of America, before being named ambassador.

Born in Zanesville, Ohio, his family moved to Washington while he was in his teens. He was a 1926 graduate of the Foreign Service School of Georgetown University.

While living in Charlottesville, Va., before moving to Broadmead, his community work included serving as chairman of the board of Camp Holiday trails for disabled children and as a member of the board of the Richmond Museum.

His wife of 52 years, the former Helen Rosenbaum, died in 1989.

He is survived by a son, Charles Stephen Baldwin of New York City; a sister, Cordelia Baldwin of Washington; and eight grandchildren.

Plans for a memorial service in Charlottesville in October are incomplete.

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