Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Charles Anthony Gillespie Jr.
Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training Foreign Affairs Oral History Program
AMBASSADOR CHARLES ANTHONY GILLESPIE, JR.
Interviewed by: Charles Stuart Kennedy
Initial interview date: September 19, 1995
Copyright 2001 ADST
[Note: This interview has not been edited by Ambassador Gillespie]
Q: Today is September 19, 1995. This is an interview with Ambassador Charles Anthony Gillespie, Jr., known as Tony Gillespie. This is being done on behalf of the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training, and I'm Charles Stuart Kennedy.
I'd like to start this interview off at the beginning. Could you tell me a bit about your background - when and where you were born and something about your family?
GILLESPIE: I was born in Long Beach, California in March, 1935.
Q: Did you miss the earthquake there, or not?
GILLESPIE: I missed the earthquake, but my parents didn't, and I heard a lot about it as I grew up. My parents had come to California from Texas, where my father was born, some time in the 1920s, I guess it was. My Dad was an officer of the Bank of America and had been sort of lured from Texas, where he had been in banking as a young man, to California by the fabled A. P. Giannini, the founder of the Bank of America.
My father was a young, trainee officer in the Bank of America. I think that he actually worked in San Pedro, California, where there was a large community of immigrant Yugoslav fishermen.
Q: Also, the U.S. Navy used to be based there. I had two brothers in the Navy - one on the USS Arizona and one on the USS West Virginia.