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Name: Thorne, David
Current Position: Previous Ambassador

If appointing U.S. ambassadors was like song dedications, then the selection of David H. Thorne as envoy to Italy and San Marino would be akin to President Barak Obama proclaiming, “This one goes out to you, John Kerry.” Thorne, a Boston businessman, is a longtime and close friend of the Democratic senator from Massachusetts, having gone to college and served in Vietnam with Kerry, and been related at to him one time by marriage through Thorne’s sister. Thorne was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to Italy and San Marino on August 17, 2009.

Born in New York City, Thorne, 64, hails from a banking and political dynasty that includes great-grandfather Henry L. Stimson, who served as Secretary of War under President Franklin Roosevelt. Thorne and his twin sister, Julia, grew up in Italy, thanks to their Republican father, Landon Thorne, Jr., who was appointed by President Dwight Eisenhower to administer the Marshall Plan for Italy. Thorne spent two decades in the country, splitting time between his family’s homes in Rome and Porto Ercole in Tuscany, and running his father’s newspaper, the Rome Daily American, which at one time was only one of two American international newspapers in Europe (besides the International Herald Tribune).
Thorne returned to the states to attend college at Yale University, where he first met Kerry. The two became close friends, belonging to the exclusive Skull and Bones Society and playing on the varsity soccer team. While at Yale they went on a road trip around Europe in an old London cab bought by Thorne, and ran with the bulls at Pamplona.

After graduating in 1966 with a Bachelor of Arts in American history, Thorne served in the U.S. Navy and saw duty in Vietnam, along with Kerry.
In 1970, Thorne left the Navy and enrolled in graduate school at Columbia University. That same year Kerry married Julia, becoming Thorne’s brother-in-law. The two men collaborated on a book together, The New Soldier, which was published on behalf of Vietnam Veterans Against the War,in 1971, the same year Thorne earned his master’s degree in journalism.
Thorne backed Kerry in his later, high-profile campaign against the war, when they gave back their medals and took part in peace marches. He also helped run Kerry’s first campaign for Congress in 1972.

Once the Vietnam War ended, Thorne spent the next thirty years building his career as an investor and entrepreneur in a wide variety of business ventures, including marketing consulting, real estate, publishing, and financial services. He also helped found a political consulting firm and aided Joe Biden’s first election to the Senate.
Thorne built a publishing venture focused on health and healing that was acquired by Martha Stewart’s Omnimedia in 2004. In 1994 he co-founded the Boston-based Adviser Investments, an independent money management firm specializing in Vanguard and Fidelity mutual funds.
Thorne and Kerry ceased being brothers-in-law in 1988, when Julia divorced Kerry. But that did not end their close friendship. During Kerry’s presidential run in 2004, Thorne served as the Democratic nominee’s campaign treasurer and head of Internet activities.

Thorne contributed $17,000 to Obama’s election campaign, and also gave money to Biden’s presidential bid and to two Democratic House candidates, neither of whom won their primaries.
Fluent in Italian, Spanish and French, Thorne is married to Rose Thorne and has two children.
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