Charles C. Hart

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Charles C. Hart
8th United States Minister to Iran
In office
February 9, 1930 – October 31, 1933
PresidentHerbert Hoover
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Preceded byHoffman Philip
Succeeded byWilliam H. Hornibrook
2nd United States Minister to Albania
In office
August 1, 1925 – December 12, 1929
PresidentCalvin Coolidge
Herbert Hoover
Preceded byUlysses Grant-Smith
Succeeded byHerman Bernstein
Personal details
Born(1878-09-14)September 14, 1878
Bryant, Indiana, United States
DiedNovember 17, 1956(1956-11-17) (aged 78)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting placeArlington National Cemetery
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Bertha Hall
Ruth Agnes Lymond
(m. 1917; his death 1956)
OccupationJournalist, diplomat
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1897-1898
UnitThird Artillery
Battles/warsSpanish–American War

Charles Calmer Hart (September 14, 1878 – November 17, 1956) was an American journalist and diplomat,[1] who served as minister to Albania from 1925 to 1929, and as minister to Persia from 1930 to 1933.

Early years[edit]

Born on a farm in Bryant, Indiana, in September 1878,[2] Charles Calmer Hart was the son of a schoolteacher.[3] His first jobs included farming and working in a factory.[4] Though he never attended high college or university, he became a printer's devil at the Geneva Herald, in Indiana, before joining the Muncie Star,[3] now The Star Press.

In 1897,[5] he moved west, and joined the staff of the San Francisco Call as a reporter, before enlisting in the United States Army.[6]

As a soldier, he served as a private in the Third Regiment of Artillery, either in Battery K,[7] or Battery L.[8] During his military service, Hart served as a guard on Alcatraz Island during its usage as Alcatraz Citadel, an Army prison,[9] and was seriously injured: while climbing the steps of the lighthouse,[8] possibly to paint the roof,[10] the stairwell gave way under him, dropping him thirty feet into the rocks below,[9] fracturing his leg, which required the amputation of his leg below the knee.[8]

Though there is some dispute regarding Hart's supposed service in the Spanish–American War,[a] it is known that Hart's injuries necessitated a year of convalescence,[4] including some time at the Soldiers' Home.[7][8] As a result of the amputation, he received a pension,[10] and used a prosthetic foot[3] and a cane for the rest of his life.[12]


He soon returned home to Indiana, rejoining the Muncie Star, this time as an editor; he later joined The Indianapolis Star as an editor, as well; during this time, as a young reporter, he provided Gene Stratton-Porter with her first newspaper mention,[13] on the strength of her reporting in the Decatur Journal.[14] He next worked for other newspapers around the country, mainly in the West, including The Spokesman-Review, where he served as city editor;[15] and The Oregonian, where he served as a Washington, D.C. correspondent.[16] In addition, he was also a correspondent with the Boise-based Capital-News, and the Minneapolis Tribune,[17] the latter of which is now the Star Tribune.

While in Washington, furthermore, Hart served as the secretary of the National Press Club three times.[18]


Hart was active in politics as a Republican. He supported Charles Evans Hughes during the 1916 presidential campaign, though his first candidate was Senator William Borah.[19] Additionally, for three years,[6] he was the secretary and campaign manager for Republican progressive William La Follette.[19]

Hart ran for Congress in 1916,[4] in Washington's 5th congressional district,[20] but lost the Republican primary.[3][21] In November, Clarence Dill, one of his former reporters, was re-elected.[3]

Personal life[edit]

On April 21, 1917, Hart married Ruth Agnes Limond in Seattle.[18] The two had met in Coronado, California, during Hart's campaign for Hughes.[19] For Hart, this was his second marriage; he had earlier married Bertha Hall, with whom he had a daughter.[22]

With Ruth Limond, Hart had two children, a son, John; and a daughter, Priscilla.[23]


President Calvin Coolidge nominated Hart as the second minister to Albania in May 1925;[24] he took up his post later that year.

Hart's reports during his service as minister to Albania were widely considered entertaining and funny,[25] including by the Secretary of State, Frank B. Kellogg, and others in the Foreign Service, as they were written in a vivid and realistic style, more suited to journalism than diplomacy.[26][27]

Well-liked by Albanian officials,[28] Hart, like Albanian president Zogu, proved to be wily and careful, especially when dealing with newspaper reporters;[29] apposite, as Hart taught Zogu how to play poker.[30] During his time as minister, Albania became a monarchy under Zogu, now King Zog I;[28] President Coolidge recognized the new Albanian government, as one properly created under the constitutional mechanisms of the Albanian Republic;[31] and Zog personally dedicated the new United States Embassy in Tirana,[32] with its large twelve rooms and lavish furnishings,[33] which, with some modifications and renovations, remains the embassy today.[34]

At the time, King Zog was a bachelor, and it was later reported that he reached out to Hart for the diplomat's assistance in finding a wealthy, politically courageous, and beautiful American bride, someone to help him Westernise his country,[35] and that Hart had sent back a list of names, including Natalie Hays Hammond, whom Zog rejected due to lack of wealth.[36] Minister Hart denied the entire account.[37] In the end, Zog would get part of his wish: in 1938, he married Geraldine Apponyi, an impecunious Hungarian-American[38] countess.[39]

By then, however, Hart had left as minister; he was replaced by Herman Bernstein in 1930.[40]


After some time back in the United States, Hart was nominated by President Herbert Hoover as minister to Iran (then known as Persia) in October 1929.[41] The United States Senate confirmed his nomination in November;[42][43] and during Hart's journey to Iran, he passed through the Soviet Union, which was uncommon[44] and made him the first American diplomat in twelve years to have done so,[45] presumably at the behest of the State Department.[46]

As minister to Persia, Hart was considered "energetic and popular";[47] as one Iranian newspaper stated, he "understands the Orient and the oriental mentality".[2]

Hart's reports continued to be humorous,[48] and, to the admonishment of his colleagues and State Department officials, candid; yet when a report of such nature was received by Henry L. Stimson, Kellogg's successor, replete with calls for disciplinary actions, Stimson demurred.[49]

Hart, during his time in Iran, was able to observe and report on the beginnings of Iranian modernism, including the actions and creations of the Society for the National Heritage of Iran,[50] and municipal modernization under Reza Shah.[51] Though he was successful in persuading the government to allow James Henry Breasted to conduct an archaeological restoration there,[52] most of his tenure involved responses to crises, including the 1930 Salmas earthquake and its aftermath,[53] as well as the kidnapping of American consular officers,[54] by Lurs near Sahneh,[55] in 1932.[56]

In 1933, he resigned as minister,[57] and was replaced with William H. Hornibrook.[58]

Later years[edit]

After leaving his second diplomatic post, Hart worked in oil and gas exploration in the Middle East.[57][9]

In 1936, for instance, Hart, backed by the former Secretary of the Treasury, Ogden L. Mills,[59] and joined by Frederick Gardner Clapp, helped negotiate oil rights in Afghanistan for an American firm, at the request of the Afghan and Persian governments.[60]

During World War II, Hart sought to open another front in Albania; his mission was canceled some time before he boarded his flight, the "Yankee Clipper", which would crash on February 22, 1943, leaving fifteen survivors, including Jane Froman.[9]

In March 1946, Hart, as the president of the American Friends of Albania group, rebuked Senator Claude Pepper on the Senator's position on Epirus in a newspaper advertisement.[61]

Hart's health began to fail that year;[16] in late 1946, he stayed at Bethesda Naval Hospital for several months,[9] after a series of operations relating to complications stemming from his Alcatraz injury.[13]

Hart also collected documents and autographs, some of which were auctioned off in February 1947.[62]

The next year, Charles Calmer Hart moved to California,[5] where he died on November 17, 1956, in Los Angeles, at the age of 78.[16]

He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.[22]


  1. ^ The Swedish-language newspaper Vestkusten stated, in 1929, that "Han deltog i spanskamerikanska kriget", or, translated, "He [Hart] participated in the Spanish–American War";[11] but the Durham Morning Herald, in 1914, reported that Hart was discharged a month before the declaration of war.[6]


  1. ^ "THE PRESIDENCY: Wet Week". Time. November 4, 1929. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Young, Herrick B. (February 9, 1930). "Hoosier-born U. S. Minister is Acclaimed by Persians". The Indianapolis Star. p. 3. Retrieved July 10, 2018 – via
  3. ^ a b c d e Dyar, Ralph E. (1952). News for an Empire: The Story of the Spokesman Review of Spokane, Washington and of the Field It Serves. Caldwell, Idaho: Caxton Printers. pp. 143–144. ISBN 978-1-258-10726-0. OCLC 186702336.
  4. ^ a b c "Hart Runs for Congress". The Colville Examiner. July 29, 1916. p. 4. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Rites Are Set for C.C. Hart". The Baltimore Sun. November 26, 1957. Retrieved July 11, 2018 – via
  6. ^ a b c "Newspaper Men in Field". Durham Morning Herald. February 8, 1914. Retrieved July 11, 2018 – via
  7. ^ a b "News of the Regular Army". San Francisco Call. April 4, 1898. p. 18. Retrieved July 10, 2018 – via
  8. ^ a b c d "Soldier's Home". Los Angeles Times. April 10, 1898. Retrieved July 10, 2018 – via
  9. ^ a b c d e "Charles Calmer Hart to Sell Historic Collection at Auction". The Indianapolis Star. February 23, 1947. Retrieved July 11, 2018 – via
  10. ^ a b Authier, George F. (April 10, 1929). "News Writers Climb to Fame as U.S. Envoys". Star Tribune. Retrieved July 11, 2018 – via
  11. ^ "Amerika-NYTT". Vestkusten (in Swedish) (43). October 24, 1929. Retrieved July 8, 2018 – via California Digital Newspaper Collection.
  12. ^ Williamson, Robert L. (May 29, 1949). "Early Years of Century Golden Age Period of Magic City: Muncie People Build Despite Failure of Gas". The Star Press. p. 65. Retrieved July 12, 2018 – via
  13. ^ a b "Hart Recovering at Navy Hospital". The Indianapolis Star. February 19, 1947. p. 22. Retrieved July 4, 2018 – via
  14. ^ Watkins, Everett C. (April 5, 1942). "Hoosier-Born World Traveler, Former Diplomat, Tells of Gene Stratton-Porter's First Writeup". The Star Press. pp. 6–7. Retrieved July 12, 2018 – via
  15. ^ "Nelson W. Durham". Editor and Publisher. Vol. 9 no. 40. Editor & Publisher Company. April 9, 1910. p. 2. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  16. ^ a b c "CHARLES C. HART, 78, EX-NEWSMAN, ENVOY". The New York Times. November 26, 1956. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  17. ^ "Coolidge Names Charles C. Hart to Albania Post". Albany Democrat-Herald. May 29, 1925. p. 1. Retrieved July 11, 2018 – via
  18. ^ a b "Booming Hughes, Found Bride". Editor & Publisher. Vol. 49 no. 45. Editor & Publisher Company. April 21, 1917. p. 48. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  19. ^ a b c "Would-Be President Maker's Romance Brings Wedding to Local GIrl". Star Tribune. April 22, 1917. p. 26. Retrieved July 11, 2018 – via
  20. ^ "Washington State News of Interest". Aberdeen Herald. August 3, 1916. p. 2. Retrieved July 10, 2018 – via
  21. ^ "Election Search Results - Elections & Voting". Washington Secretary of State. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
  22. ^ a b "Arlington Burial This Week for Charles C. Hart". The Star Press. November 26, 1956. p. 42. Retrieved July 11, 2018 – via
  23. ^ "Society". Star Tribune. August 7, 1927. p. 2. Retrieved July 11, 2018 – via
  24. ^ "TO BE MINISTER TO ALBANIA.; C.C. Hart, Western Newspaper Man, Named by Coolidge". The New York Times. May 5, 1925. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  25. ^ Wilson, Lyle C. (January 2, 1930). "American Diplomat Now on Journey Through Russia to Reach Persian Post". Great Falls Tribune. United Press International. p. 1. Retrieved July 12, 2018 – via
  26. ^ "Ex-Muncie Man Gains Honor". Muncie Evening Press. October 14, 1929. p. 9. Retrieved July 12, 2018 – via
  27. ^ "A Moment in Washington". Indianapolis News. September 8, 1932. p. 12. Retrieved July 13, 2018 – via
  28. ^ a b "ZOGU IS CROWNED KING OF ALBANIANS; National Assembly Amid Acclaim Unanimously Proclaims the President as Monarch. HE FALTERS TAKING OATH Italians Help Guard New Ruler in Tirana--Republican Exiles Threaten Revolution. Falters as He Takes Ooath. ZOGU IS CROWNED KING OF ALBANIANS New King Reviews Garrison. Republican Exiles Threaten. Asks the League to Intervene. Manifesto Has Not Reached League. Belgrade May Protest Title". The New York Times. September 2, 1928. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
  29. ^ McCormick, Anne O'Hare (March 20, 1927). "ZOGU'S TASK IS TO TAME UNRULY ALBANIA; Romantic and Incalculable Is Ahmet Bey, President at 31, and Sorely Beset by Many Tribal Enemies ZOGU'S TASK IN ALBANIA ALBANIA'S GRIM POLITICS". The New York TImes. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
  30. ^ Timmons, Bascom N. (August 29, 1951). "House-Passed Air Force Bill Is In Error: King Zog Visits". The Tennessean. p. 12. Retrieved July 12, 2018 – via
  31. ^ "COOLIDGE RECOGNIZES ALBANIAN KINGDOM; Messages Sent to Zogu by President and Kellogg Laud HisGovernment". The New York Times. September 14, 1928. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
  32. ^ "KING ZOGU TO DEDICATE OUR LEGATION IN TIRANA; Albania's Ruler Will Attend His First Public Dance at the Opening Ceremonies". The New York Times. June 7, 1929. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
  33. ^ Stinnnett, Jack (February 5, 1941). "Washington". Eau Claire Leader. Associated Press. p. 12. Retrieved July 12, 2018 – via
  34. ^ "The Secretary of State's Register of Culturally Significant Property" (PDF). United States Department of State. May 2010. pp. 40–41. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
  35. ^ "KING ZOG WOULD WED RICH AMERICAN GIRL; Income of $1,000,000 Year One of Conditions of Royal Match With Albanian Ruler". The New York Times. January 22, 1935. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
  36. ^ "Got a Million? Zog Wants Wife". Sandusky Register. January 23, 1935. p. 14. Retrieved July 11, 2018 – via
  37. ^ "Denies Zog Sought Heiress". The New York Times. January 23, 1935. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
  38. ^ Bethell, Nicholas (2016). Elsie, Robert; Destani, Bejtullah (eds.). The Albanian Operation of the CIA and MI6, 1949-1953 : conversations with participants in a venture betrayed. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. p. 71. ISBN 9781476663791. OCLC 929123505.
  39. ^ Martin, Douglas (October 27, 2002). "Geraldine of Albania, 87, Queen With U.S. Ties, Is Dead". The New York Times. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
  40. ^ "OFFERS ALBANIAN POST TO HERMAN BERNSTEIN; Hoover Asks New York Journalist to Succeed Charles C. Hartas Minister". The New York Times. January 30, 1930. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
  41. ^ "C.C. HART NOMINATED MINISTER TO PERSIA; Hoover Also Names Eugene Black of Texas to Succeed Millikan on Tax Appeals Board". The New York Times. October 26, 1929. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  42. ^ "Persian Minister". The San Bernardino Sun. 65 (74). November 13, 1929. p. 1. Retrieved July 8, 2018 – via California Digital Newspaper Collection.
  43. ^ "The Senate Week". Time. Vol. 14 no. 22. November 25, 1929. p. 14. ISSN 0040-781X.
  44. ^ "No Taboo on Our Officials" (PDF). The New York Times. September 1, 1932. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
  45. ^ "Tirana to Teheran". Time. Vol. 15 no. 2. January 13, 1930. p. 14. ISSN 0040-781X.
  46. ^ Wilson, Lyle C. (January 3, 1930). "U.S. Minister is Secretly in Soviet Russia". San Bernardino Sun. 65 (125). United Press International. p. 3. Retrieved July 8, 2018 – via California Digital Newspaper Collection.
  47. ^ Kuhn Jr., Ferdinand (December 11, 1932). "BRITISH SHUN FORCE IN PERSIAN DISPUTE; Appeal to World Court on Oil Contract Is Effort to Avoid New". The New York Times. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  48. ^ "For Le Shah, Un Chat". Missoulian. January 24, 1937. p. 17. Retrieved July 20, 2018 – via
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  50. ^ Grigor, Tallinn (2004). "Recultivating "Good Taste": The Early Pahlavi Modernists and Their Society for National Heritage". Iranian Studies. 37 (1): 17–45. doi:10.1080/0021086042000232929. JSTOR 4311590.
  51. ^ Karimi, Z. Pamela (2009). Transitions in domestic architecture and home culture in twentieth century Iran (PhD thesis). Massachusetts Institute of Technology. hdl:1721.1/54552.
  52. ^ Baird, Joseph H. (December 27, 1930). "American Will Restore Ruins". Madera Tribune (46). United Press International. p. 4. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  53. ^ "PERSIAN QUAKE EXTENSIVE.; Town of Salmas Is in Ruins-- American Red Cross Sends Aid". The New York Times. May 11, 1930. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  54. ^ "Three of Our Envoys Kidnapped in Persia; Rescued From Brigands After Three Days". The New York Times. September 5, 1932. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  55. ^ Fleming, Dewey L. (September 7, 1932). "Americans Tell Of Rescue From Persian Brigands". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved July 10, 2018 – via
  56. ^ "ENVOYS EXHAUSTED BY ORDEAL IN PERSIA; Three Americans Captured by Brigands Reach Teheran With Feet Lacerated. WERE STRIPPED AND ROBBED Forced to Run and Walk 25 Miles Into Mountains, They Spent a Freezing Night Before Rescue". The New York Times. September 7, 1932. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  57. ^ a b "Great Concession for Oil is Negotiated by Hoosier". The Indianapolis Star. December 31, 1936. p. 9. Retrieved July 12, 2018 – via
  58. ^ "Envoy to Persia Is Named". The New York Times. December 13, 1933. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  59. ^ "Oil Week". Time. Vol. 29 no. 5. February 1, 1937. p. 64. ISSN 0040-781X.
  60. ^ "AFGHAN OIL RIGHTS WON BY AMERICANS; 75-Year Concession, Covering 270,000-Mile Square Area, Goes to Inland Firm". The New York Times. December 31, 1936. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  61. ^ "Albanians Flay Pepper on Greece". The Miami News. Associated Press. March 3, 1946. p. 55. Retrieved July 12, 2018 – via
  62. ^ "RARE AUTOGRAPHS WILL GO ON BLOCK". The New York Times. February 23, 1947. Retrieved July 4, 2018.

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Ulysses Grant-Smith
United States Minister to Albania
Succeeded by
Herman Bernstein
Preceded by
Hoffman Philip
United States Minister to Iran
Succeeded by
William H. Hornibrook