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JOSEPH J. SISCO, LONGTIME DIPLOMAT WHO SERVED AS MIDEAST NEGOTIATOR
OCT. 31, 1919 -- NOV. 23, 2004

Joseph J. Sisco, a diplomat whose State Department career spanned five presidential administrations, is dead of complications from diabetes at age 85.

He died Tuesday at his home.

As a State Department negotiator, Sisco was deeply involved in the Middle East shuttle diplomacy of then-Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger.

He joined the State Department in 1951 and dealt with Syria's invasion of Jordan in 1970, the India-Pakistan War in 1971, and Egypt and Israel's peace negotiations in 1974.

"It was fun to work with Joe because he was so enthusiastic," Kissinger told the Washington Post of the man he appointed undersecretary of state for political affairs. "He had a solution for everything."

Sisco was president of American University from 1976 to 1980, after his diplomatic career.

A native of Chicago, Sisco was the son of Italian immigrants. He was an Army first lieutenant in the Pacific during World War II and subsequently received master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Chicago, specializing in Soviet affairs.

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