Heyward Isham

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Person.png Heyward Isham  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Born4 November 1926
New York City, USA
Died18 June 2009 (Age 82)
Alma materYale
Diplomat and spook, then editor at Doubleday publishers

Employment.png Coordinator for Counterterrorism

In office
October 26, 1977 - August 1, 1978
Preceded byL. Douglas Heck
Succeeded byAnthony C. E. Quainton

Henry Heyward Isham was a negotiator who played an important role in the talks with North Vietnam that led to the Peace accord of 1973.[1] . In that capacity he worked with the chief American negotiator, Henry A. Kissinger, who was then President Richard M. Nixon’s national security adviser.


He was born in New York City in 1926. He received a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Yale in 1947 and later studied at Columbia University’s Russian Institute. He continued his Russian-language studies at the United States Army Russian Institute in Germany[2], before being posted to the American Mission in Berlin during the Cold War.[1] From 1955 through 1957, he was chief of the consular section and political office at the United States Embassy in Moscow. From 1974 to 1977 after a posting in Hong Kong, Isham was the American ambassador to Haiti.[1]

After his retirement from the diplomatic service he worked as an Editor with Doubleday publishers.[1] During this period he supervised the publication of the memoirs of Andrei A. Gromyko, the Soviet foreign minister from 1957 to 1985, and other books by Russians.


He was married to the artist Sheila Eaton with whom he had three children.[1] Son Christopher Isham was named Vice President and Washington Bureau Chief for CBS News in July 2007. Son Ralph Heyward Isham is a former Fellow with the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee during the SALT II treaty hearings. He also served on the staffs of Congressman James W. Symington of St. Louis, Missouri and Senator Edward Brooke of Massachusetts. Daughter Sandra Isham died in 1996.


  1. a b c d e Martin Weil, "Deft peace negotiator whose other side did not spare the rod" The Age (16 July 2009): 19.
  2. https://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/23/us/23isham.html