Charles Price, Ambassador Under Reagan, Dies At 80

Published January 14, 2012 12:36AM (EST)

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — Former U.S. ambassador to Great Britain Charles Price II, who coordinated friendly relations between President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, died in California, a family spokesman said Friday.

Price, who also served as Reagan's ambassador to Belgium, died Thursday night at his home in Indian Wells, family spokesman Michael Landes told The Associated Press. He was 80.

Landes said the family had asked him not to immediately release the cause of death.

Price was a friend of the Reagans and Thatcher, who he worked with in the aftermath of the 1988 Lockerbie airplane bombing in Scotland. Price toured the crash site and attended memorials with the prime minister for the 259 victims.

Price also took part in treaty talks between the two nations as they sought to deal with the drug trade and Britain's fight with the Irish Republican Army.

The ambassador held elaborate dinners for heads of state at his London home, and hosted the American delegation attending the 1986 royal wedding of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson.

Born and raised in Kansas City, Mo., Price went to military school in Lexington, Mo., graduated from the University of Missouri and served in the U.S. Air Force, according to the Kansas City Star, which first reported his death.

Reagan appointed him ambassador to Belgium in the spring of 1981, and in 1983 made him ambassador to Britain, a post he would hold until the end of Reagan's term.

He was a banker and candy company executive before his diplomatic service and returned to banking afterward, serving as chairman of the board of Kansas City's Mercantile Bank.

Price is survived by his wife, Carol Swanson Price. They were known for their style and entertaining on both sides of the Atlantic. Both were philanthropists and led the effort to place a statue of President Dwight Eisenhower in London near the U.S. embassy.

By Salon Staff

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