Topic: Pete Peterson

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Douglas Brian "Pete" Peterson (born June 26, 1935, Omaha, Nebraska) was a U.S. Air Force pilot who spent over six years (September 10, 1966 – March 4, 1973) as a prisoner of the North Vietnamese Army after his plane was shot down during the Vietnam War. He returned to Hanoi in 1997 as the first United States Ambassador to Vietnam, with the goal of securing an account of those still listed as missing in action from the war and so helping to resolve the Vietnam War POW/MIA issue. He was an ambassador until 2001. While Ambassador in Hanoi, he made a social impact by marrying a Vietnamese Australian member of the Australian embassy.

Peterson grew up in Milton, Iowa and attended college at the University of Tampa. After the war ended, Peterson entered Central Michigan University in order to earn his Ph.D in finance. He later taught the subject as a professor at Florida State University. In 1990, Peterson ran as a Democrat for a seat in the United States House of Representatives in Florida's 2nd congressional district.

He successfully defeated James W. Grant, a politician who grew unpopular after switching from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party in the middle of his second term. Peterson left his House seat in order to fill the roll as ambassador, declining to run for reelection to a fourth term in 1996. He was succeeded by Allen Boyd.

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