Log In

John Alfred Scali Edit Profile

diplomat , journalist , United States Ambassador to the United Nations

JOHN ALFRED SCALI, Diplomat, Official. Ambassador, Permanent Representative of United States, New York. Journalism Award, University of Southern California, 64; Spec Award, Washington Chapter, National Academy of Arts & Science, 64; Manitoba of the Year Award in Journalism, Boston University, 65; Spec Award, Overseas Press Club, 65; John Scali Award, Washington Chapter, American Federation of Television & Radio Artists, 64; Rizzuto Gold Medal Award, 74; Honorary Degree: Malone College, 74; York College, 74.


Scali, John Alfred was born on April 27, 1918 in Canton, Ohio, United States. Son of Paul M. and Lucy (Leone) Scali.


Boston University, 1938-1942, Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Surgery Journalism. Spoken languages: English, Italian.


From 1961 he was also a long time correspondent for ABC News. As a correspondent for ABC, Scali became an intermediary during the Cuban Missile Crisis and later a part of the Nixon Administration. Scali gained fame after it became known in 1964 that in October 1962, a year after he joined ABC News, he had carried a critical message from KGB Colonel Aleksandr Fomin (the cover name for Alexander Feklisov) to U.S. officials.

He left ABC in 1971 to serve as a foreign affairs adviser to President Nixon, becoming U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in 1973. Scali re-joined ABC in 1975 where he worked until retiring in 1993. Scali was contacted by Soviet embassy official (and KGB Station Chief) Fomin about a proposed settlement to the crisis, and subsequently he acted as a contact between Fomin and the Executive Committee.

However, it was without government direction that Scali responded to new Soviet conditions with a warning that a U.S. invasion was only hours away, prompting the Soviets to settle the crisis quickly. This account is discounted, however, in the 2008 book by Washington Post reporter Michael Dobbs, "One Minute to Midnight." The review of this book (see the link below) by Richard Holbrooke states: "The Kennedy administration attached great importance to this connection, and spent much time drafting a message for Scali to give to Feklisov. But on the basis of extensive analysis and interviews, Dobbs believes that the so-called back channel was a self-generated effort by an ambitious spy to send some information to his bosses in Moscow, as well as self-promotion by an ambitious journalist, who parlayed his meetings with the K.G.B. agent into a public legend that eventually led to his becoming the American ambassador to the United Nations.".


Member advisory council Arizona Heart Institute, member International Heart Institute, Council American Ambassadors. Member A.F.T.R.A., Council on Foreign Relations, Sigma Delta Chi. Clubs: National Press (Washington).


  • Other Interests

    Journalism, diplomacy.


Married Helen Lauinger Glock, August 30, 1945 (divorced 1973). Children: Donna Claire Scali Bordley, Paula Lucia Scali Wolf, Carla Scali Byrd. Married Denise St. Germain, March 4, 1973.

Paul M. Scali

Lucy (Leone) Scali

Helen Lauinger Glock

Denise St. Germain

Donna Claire Scali Bordley Scali

Paula Lucia Scali Wolf Scali

Carla Scali Byrd Scali