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Ambassador William D. Eberle, age 84, former U. S. Special Trade Representative, died peacefully at his Concord home on Thursday, April 3, 2008.

Born in Boise, Idaho, Mr. Eberle graduated from Boise High School and Stanford University before serving as a U.S. Naval officer in World War II. He received degrees from Harvard Law School and Harvard Graduate School of Business.

While studying at Harvard he met Jean Quick, a Wellesley College student. They were married in 1947 and moved to Boise where Mr. Eberle began his law career, becoming a partner in the firm Richards, Haga & Eberle.

He was intrigued with the political process and how it may benefit society. He was elected to the Idaho House of Representatives in the 1950s and served four terms, two as Speaker of the House.

He was one of the founders of the Boise Cascade Corporation and was its Vice President from 1959-1966. "He was a man of great warmth and charm who was able to succeed in many undertakings," said his law partner, Chuck McDevitt, retired Supreme Court Chief Justice of Idaho. "Foreign governments and companies were enhanced by his impeccable honesty and trustworthiness."

"He was a gifted strategist and handled the big corporate picture masterfully," said fellow Concordian Richard Wheeler who, as a senior executive for Citibank, first met Mr. Eberle in the Philippines.

In 1966, American Standard was looking to hire someone to help the company diversify. Mr. Eberle was a candidate. Recalls his son, Jeff, "About a week after the initial discussions, the president called. Out of the blue, he said he was retiring and wanted my father to take his position." Under Mr. Eberle's leadership as Chairman and CEO, American Standard, one of America's largest multi-national corporations, became a far more viable organization.

Mr. Eberle served as Special Trade Representative from 1971-1975 under Presidents Nixon and Ford, becoming the first Idaho native to be named ambassador. At the time of his appointment the U.S. had not conducted multi-lateral trade negotiations for 12 years, a situation he immediately worked to rectify. "He was remarkably effective," said Wheeler. "It is notable how many of the treaties he worked on actually came through."

He served as Director of the Cabinet for International Economic Policy from 1973-1974 and was an active promoter of the GATT Tokyo Round negotiations.

With an abiding interest in foreign affairs and global economics, Mr. Eberle was an active member of the Aspen Institute and co-chaired their annual seminar on the future of the world economy. For many years he was a director of the International Chamber of Commerce and chaired their Commission on Trade-Related Issues, and was Director of the US Japan Foundation from 1986-1994. He was an Advisory Council Member at Stanford University Business School from 1969-1974 and created the William D. Eberle Professor of International Economics chair upon leaving.

Mr. Eberle always kept Idaho close to his heart.An avid skier, he began schussing the Boise foothills in the 1930s using a Model "A" as his chair lift. He transitioned to the groomed slopes of Sun Valley and Aspen where he enjoyed decades more of skiing, often with his children as company.Childhood summers were spent at McCall Lake, Idaho. In 1933 he, along with his brother Ted, spent the summer helping to build the family cabin. Later, as his career took him east, he built a summer home in Small Point, Maine, where he could spend time with his family.

In addition to his wife of 60 years, Mr. Eberle leaves his son Jeffrey and his wife Molly of Concord, MA, his son David and wife Sara Hill of Boise, Idaho, his son Francis and wife Diane of Brunswick, Maine, his daughter Cilista of Los Angeles, Calif., a sister Nancy Umbach of McCall, Idaho, and six grandchildren.