Peterson, Douglas, 1935-

Alternative names
Birth 1935-06-26

Biographical notes:

Soldier, politician, ambassador.

Douglas Peterson was born on June 26, 1935, in Omaha, Nebraska. In 1954 he joined the Air Force as a fighter pilot, and was stationed in Thailand, where he flew bombing runs over North Vietnam. In 1966 he was shot down and captured in Vietnam, where he spent seven years as a prisoner of war. He was released in 1973 and returned to active duty. He graduated from the National War College in 1975, earned a bachelor's degree from University of Tampa in 1976, and retired from the military in 1980. He came to Florida State University as director of the specialized treatment program in the psychology department and served as head master for the Dozier School for Boys. In 1990, he entered politics as a Democrat in Florida's Second District. In 1991, he visited Vietnam, urging for a full accounting of American POWs in Vietnam. He was re-elected in 1992 and 1994. In 1996, President Clinton nominated Peterson as the first postwar United States ambassador to Vietnam. There he discussed soldiers missing in action, human rights, religious freedom, trade normalization and investment relations with Vietnam. He left Vietnam in July of 2002.

From the description of Douglas "Pete" Peterson collection, 1978-1996, bulk 1990-1996. (Florida State University). WorldCat record id: 50668607


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Ark ID:


  • Child labor--Law and legislation
  • Cold War
  • Florida panther
  • Embargo
  • National Former Prisoners of War Recognition Day
  • Korean War, 1950-1953
  • Water
  • Prisoners of war
  • Politicians--Correspondence


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  • Kissimmee (Fla.) (as recorded)
  • Russia (as recorded)
  • Vietnam (as recorded)
  • Santa Rosa County (Fla.) (as recorded)
  • Florida (as recorded)
  • Asia (as recorded)
  • Florida Bay (Fla.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)