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Ambassador Robert Bigger Oakley (1996)

Louisiana Legends



Genre: Interview

Place Covered: Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 1996-09-06

Duration: 00:24:35

Subjects: Oakley, Robert B., 1931-2014 | United States Ambassadors | International relations | DIPLOMATS | Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994 | Bush, George, 1924- | Persian Gulf War, 1991 | Somalia


  • Weill, Gus Host
  • Fowler, Ken Producer
  • Oakley, Robert Bigger Interviewee


This episode of the series “Louisiana Legends” from September 9, 1996, features an interview with Ambassador Robert Bigger Oakley conducted by Gus Weill. Oakley, a native of Shreveport, served as the United States Ambassador to Zaire from 1979-1982, to Somalia from 1982-1984, and to Pakistan from 1988-1991. From 1993-1994, he also served as a special envoy to Somalia. He discusses: his early years in Shreveport; his service in the United States Navy in Japan; his decision to join the Foreign Service after attending graduate school at Tulane University; his first post in Khartoum, Sudan; the effect of the job on his marriage and family; his interactions with foreign leaders; his assessment of the Somalia envoy; serving under several Secretaries of State; the foreign affairs knowledge of President Richard Nixon and President George H.W. Bush; the Gulf War; and possible future trouble spots.