Charles H. Price II

His Excellency
Charles H. Price II
United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom
In office
December 20, 1983  February 28, 1989
President Ronald Reagan
George H. W. Bush
Preceded by John J. Louis Jr.
Succeeded by Henry E. Catto Jr.
United States Ambassador to Belgium
In office
July 3, 1981  November 15, 1983
Preceded by Anne Cox Chambers
Succeeded by Geoffrey Swaebe
Personal details
Born (1931-04-01)April 1, 1931
Kansas City, Missouri
Died January 12, 2012(2012-01-12) (aged 80)
Indian Wells, California
Resting place Forest Hill Cemetery, Kansas City, Missouri
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Carol Ann Swanson
(1969–2011; his death)
Children 5
Occupation Diplomat

Charles Harry Price II (April 1, 1931 January 12, 2012) was a prominent American businessman and former Ambassador of the United States.

Early life

Price was born to a prominent family in Kansas City, Missouri, who owned a local candy manufacturing firm, the Price Candy Company. He attended Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, Missouri, and then the Pembroke-Country Day School in Kansas City, where he graduated in 1948. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Missouri in 1953. After college, between 1953 and 1955, he served in the United States Air Force.

After his discharge from the Air Force, Price returned to Kansas City to begin a prominent career in the local banking industry. He served as Chairman and President of American Bancorporation, Inc., Chairman and CEO of the American Bank and Trust Company, and Chairman and President of Linwood Securities Company. He also ran his family's candy company, serving as Chairman and CEO from 1969 to 1981.

Public life

In the spring of 1981, President Ronald Reagan appointed Price to be United States Ambassador to Belgium. He was quickly and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate. In 1983, President Reagan recalled Price from his post in Belgium and appointed him United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom. The Senate again confirmed him unanimously, and he held the post until the end of the Reagan Administration in 1989. As Ambassador to the United Kingdom, he was instrumental in handling the aftermath of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988 and was the first U.S. government official on the scene in Lockerbie, Scotland, on the night of the bombing. He gave the first indication that it was the worst terrorist attack against the U.S., when he told reporters that 70% of those on board were Americans.[1]

Upon returning from his ambassadorial post in April 1989, Price was appointed Chairman of the Board of Ameribanc, Inc., and then became President and CEO in 1990. Ameribanc merged with Mercantile Bancorporation in May 1992, and Price became Chairman of the Board of Mercantile Bank of Kansas City and Mercantile Bank of Kansas. He held this position until retiring in 1996.

Price also served as a Director of British Airways (1989–1996), Hanson plc (1989–1995), US Industries, Inc. (1995–2004), The New York Times Company (1989–2002), Texaco (1989–2001), and Sprint (1989–1995). In Kansas City, he served on numerous philanthropic boards. He also received numerous awards and honorary degrees for his public service.

Price lived in Indian Wells, California with his wife, Carol Swanson Price, after his retirement. He died on January 12, 2012 in Indian Wells and was buried at Forest Hill Cemetery in Kansas City, Missouri.[2][3]


Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Anne Cox Chambers
U.S. Ambassador to Belgium
Succeeded by
Geoffrey Swaebe
Preceded by
John J. Louis Jr.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom
Succeeded by
Henry E. Catto Jr.
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