John Louis; Ex-Ambassador to Britain

Associated Press

Communications executive John J. Louis, who was named by President Ronald Reagan as U.S. ambassador to Great Britain from 1981 to 1983, has died. He was 69.

Louis died Wednesday at his home in suburban Winnetka, it was reported Friday.

After a career in advertising and marketing, he helped found Combined Communications Corp. in 1968.

The Arizona-based company, which owned the Oakland Tribune, the Cincinnati Enquirer and seven television and 13 radio stations, eventually merged with Gannett, owner of the nation's largest newspaper group.

During his tenure as ambassador in London, Louis was praised by the Illustrated London News for his "ability to disarm hostility and generate good will."

Louis was the great-grandson of the founder of S. C. Johnson & Son Inc., makers of Johnson's Wax. He served as an Army pilot in World War II, then earned degrees from Williams College and Dartmouth College.

Louis also was part-owner of the Chicago White Sox baseball team for a time and later served as vice president of the former Milwaukee Braves.

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