Robert Krueger, Former Congressman Who Served As Diplomat Under Two Administrations, Dies At Age 86

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Mary Rooke Commentary and Analysis Writer
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A former U.S. diplomat for two Democratic presidents, Robert C. Krueger, died Saturday at the age of 86.

Krueger passed away from congestive heart failure in his New Braunfels, Texas, home, according to his daughter Sarah Krueger, the Associated Press (AP) reported Sunday.

Krueger was elected in Texas as a Democratic U.S. Representative in 1974. He served two terms in the House before former President Jimmy Carter appointed him as a U.S. ambassador-at-large and coordinator for Mexican affairs at the Department of State until 1981, according to the outlet. (RELATED: Florida Congressman Alcee Hastings Dies After Battle With Cancer)

He ran and won a 1990 bid for a seat on the Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates the state’s rail system and oil and gas. Texas Democratic Gov. Ann Richards appointed Krueger in 1993 to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy from Democrat Lloyd Bentsen stepping down to serve as former President Bill Clinton‘s secretary of the Treasury, the Associated Press reported.

In 1993, Krueger lost his special election bid to keep the U.S. Senate seat to Kay Bailey Hutchison, a popular Texas Republican.

Clinton appointed Krueger as the ambassador to Burundi in 1994, when the country was experiencing civil unrest. His diplomatic convoy was attacked in June 1995 by gunmen, resulting in the death of one member of his convoy and the injuries of several others, the AP reported.

Due to safety concerns, Krueger was recalled from his post and later appointed by Clinton to be U.S. ambassador to Botswana from 1996 to 1999. He also served as a special U.S. representative to the Southern African Development Community until 2000, according to the AP.

Funeral arrangements were pending Sunday but will be coordinated by Lux Funeral Home of New Braunfels, according to the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. He is survived by wife Kathleen, daughters Mariana and Sarah, son Christian and other family members, the outlet reported.