I was deeply saddened to learn of the death today of our Ambassador to Switzerland, M. Larry Lawrence. Larry was a good friend and a valued colleague who brought his abundant energy and fresh vision to every task he undertook. As Ambassador in Switzerland, he was a tireless and effective advocate of U.S. interests, especially the promotion of U.S. exports and commercial ties. Larry's service to his country did not begin with his diplomatic assignment. During World War II, at the age of 18, he volunteered for the merchant marines. He was wounded when his ship was sunk by enemy torpedoes in arctic waters. Many years later, Larry was decorated with the Medal of Valor by the Government of the Russian Federation.
Larry's civilian life showed the same courage and resolve. As an entrepreneur, he restored the Hotel del Coronado, one of the west coast's outstanding architectural landmarks. Larry's quiet philanthropy also touched many lives. He believed passionately in education for women; the scholarships he endowed for minority women at the University of Arizona represent a lasting contribution. Hillary joins me in expressing our deepest sympathy to Larry's wife, Shelia, and to his children. We will miss him.