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58
F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L / M A Y 2 0 1 2
born, he and his mother moved from
Paris, settling in Los Angeles, Calif.
He attended Hollywood High School,
graduating in 1941, and during that
time worked as an office assistant for
several of the major studios. Favorite
jobs included parking Olivia de Hav-
illand’s car and walking Gene Tier-
ney’s dog.
Peter Cody served on active duty in
the U.S. Naval Reserve from July 1944
to March 1946, including a year on the
USS
Diphda
, and was promoted to
lieutenant. After graduating from sub-
marine school in New London, Conn.,
he served from 1951 to 1956 on five
subs.
Mr. Cody received a B.A. in 1947
and an M.A. in 1948, both from Yale
University, where he also worked to-
ward his Ph.D., and was an instructor
in economics. After graduation, he
worked for the Federal Reserve Board
from 1950 to 1954, when he began his
Foreign Service career with the U.S.
Agency for International Develop-
ment.
Mr. Cody’s first assignment was as a
program officer in Mexico City, where
he met his wife, Rosa Maria Cody, nee
Alatorre. He was next posted to El Sal-
vador (1957-1959), and then returned
to Washington, D.C., to the State De-
partment’s Laos Affairs Office.
In 1961 Mr. Cody was assigned to
Cambodia, where he was promoted to
deputy mission director. In 1964, at
the request of the Cambodian govern-
ment, the entire program was termi-
nated. Mr. Cody became acting
director, negotiating and supervising
the closing of the mission. In 1964 he
returned to State as director of the Of-
fice of Vietnam Affairs, and then
served as deputy director of the
USAID Mission in Laos.
During his tour as mission director
in Paraguay (1967-1971), Mr. Cody
learned Guarani and often delivered
speeches in the indigenous language.
He next served as mission director in
Ecuador (1971-1975), the Philippines
(1976-1979) and Lebanon (1979-
1980).
In 1981, at the end of his long ca-
reer, Peter Cody received the Agency
for International Development’s Mer-
itorious Service Award. He was known
for traveling far and wide to learn first-
hand about a country’s conditions and
to meet the population and staff mem-
bers working in the field. He learned
to speak the languages of every country
to which he was posted, and thrived in
the often-volatile environments in
which he worked.
Following retirement, Mr. Cody
worked as a consultant for the Pan-
American Development Foundation
in Central America; the AFL-CIO in
El Salvador, Egypt, and Guatemala;
Price Waterhouse in Kenya; the Unit-
ed Nations in several Pacific islands;
and USAID in the Sudan, Zaire, Haiti,
Mauritania and Liberia.
Mr. Cody was a member of the
Cosmos Club, Diplomatic and Con-
sular Officers Retired, the American
Foreign Service Association, the
Mountainside Villas Owners Associa-
tion, and the Yale Clubs of New York
and Washington, D.C.
A great outdoorsman and adven-
turer, Mr. Cody reached the summits
of Cotopaxi, Huayna Pichu, Pichincha
and Mount Kenya, and hiked in many
other mountains in the Alps and Hi-
malayas. He was proudest of his ascent
of Cotopaxi, peaking at 19,347 feet.
He canoed down numerous rivers,
including the Amazon, played tennis
every day and skied until he was 83.
He enjoyed scuba diving, kayaking,
white water rafting, and water skiing
(which he did a number of times in a
piranha-infested river). Other hobbies
were astronomy and shell collecting.
Although he traveled extensively for
USAID, Mr. Cody also traveled widely
on his own, and had visited every con-
tinent and all but a handful of coun-
tries. One of his favorite places, how-
ever, was in the Adirondacks, where his
family had vacationed since his grand-
parents bought a home there in the
early 1900s.
In his 80s, he interviewed Yale can-
didates and was also working on the
dissertation to finish his Ph.D. and an
autobiography.
Mr. Cody is survived by his wife of
55 years, Rosa Maria Cody, of Wash-
ington, D.C., who traveled and shared
many of his adventures with him; two
I
N
M
E M O R Y
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