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April 2013
the foreign Service journal
Rae, Bailey and Olivia Rich; and Morgan,
Garrett and Samantha Udell.
Memorial contributions can be made
to the Arizona Humane Society at
Norbert Joseph Yasharof
, 82, a
retired Foreign Service ofcer with the
U.S. Information Agency, died on Jan. 19
at his home in Arlington, Va., of compli-
cations from a staph infection.
Mr. Yasharof was born to a Jew-
ish family in Sofa. He recounted his
childhood in a book he co-authored
with Gabriel Mermall,
By the Grace of
Strangers: Two Boys’ Rescue During the
(Holocaust Survivors Memoirs
Project, 2006).
In the years after World War II, Mr. Yas-
harof immigrated to what became Israel.
He later served for two years in the Israeli
air force, and received a bachelor’s degree
in political science from the Hebrew Uni-
versity of Jerusalem in the 1950s.
After settling in the Washington area
in the early 1970s, Mr. Yasharof received
a master’s degree in public relations
from American University and became a
U.S. citizen in 1976.
Mr. Yasharof worked over the years
as a senior editorial writer, commenta-
tor and policy ofcer for the Voice of
America. A Bulgarian native, he spoke
nine languages and had a special exper-
tise in the Balkans. In the 1970s and early
1980s, he held positions as public afairs
ofcer and director of USIA’s cultural
center in Sarajevo, in the former Yugosla-
via. He retired in 1989 after working for
USIA for about two decades.
Following retirement, Mr. Yaharof
did freelance writing for Bulgarian
publications. He translated and edited
several books, including two novels and
a history of the early years of the Israeli
state. He helped found an organization
of retired Foreign Service ofcers and
did volunteer work at the U.S. Holocaust
Memorial Museum.
His marriages to the former Halina J.
Litman and the former Alvina Murphy
ended in divorce. Survivors include two
sons from his frst marriage, Joe Yasha-
rof of Potomac, Md., and Dov Yasharof
of Reading, England; and two grandchil-