Pioneer of Airport Vending-Machine Insurance Dies

From Times Wire Services

John M. Shaheen, who pioneered airport vending-machine life insurance and later ran oil refining companies, has died at age 70.

Shaheen, who served as President Richard M. Nixon’s special ambassador to Colombia and on the U.S. Advisory Commission on Information, died Friday of cancer at New York Hospital.

He had been president since 1968 of Macmillan Ring-Free Oil Co. Inc., an independent refiner and marketer.

Shaheen was decorated for his work in the Office of Strategic Services, which ran clandestine wartime operations during World War II, said Jesse Taub, a Macmillan vice president.

After the war Shaheen founded Tele-Trip Insurance, selling life insurance from vending machines in airports. That company eventually was purchased by Mutual of Omaha. He then went into the oil business, becoming president of Golden Eagle Refining Co. before joining Macmillan.


As chairman of Shaheen Natural Resources, he built a $200-million refinery in remote Come By Chance in, Newfoundland, Canada, in 1973, but amassed $600 million in debts and was forced into bankruptcy three years later.