Monday, December 08, 2014

Leonard Meeker

On November 29 island resident, Leonard Meeker (1916-2014) died peacefully in his home on the shore of Silver Lake Harbor. Leonard, who was 98 years old, led a distinguished life of public service, most notably as legal adviser to the US State Department. In that role he played a crucial role in defusing the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

Leonard Meeker, 2005 by Oliver White

In recent months, Leonard, with his wife Beverly, continued to entertain family, friends, and other visitors at his bedside on Ocracoke. It was always a delight to chat with him, discuss current events, and listen to his stories as legal counsel with the State Department, and as ambassador to Romania.

Leonard Meeker was a statesman, a gentleman, an active member of our community, and a delightful friend.

We will miss him.

You can read a more comprehensive article about Leonard, and listen to a recording of his first-hand account of  the Cuban Missile Crisis ("one of the most important meetings in American history"),  here:

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the 1837 murder of Willis Williams. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous8:51 AM

    Did he mention the legal memorandum "The legality of the United States participation in the Defense of Viet-Nam" -- part of the Pentagon papers!!!

  2. What a beautifully done portrait of Leonard by Oliver White!