Bachelor of Arts, Dartmouth College, 1958; Master of Arts, University of Chicago, 1960.
Bartholomew earned a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Dartmouth College in 1958 and a master’s degree in political science from the University of Chicago. He later returned to the University of Chicago to teach social sciences and government. Bartholomew taught at Wesleyan University as well, from 1964-1968.
While there, he met and befriended current President Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, Leslie H. Gelb, then a fellow instructor.
In 1967, Gelb left to work as a policy adviser at the Pentagon, persuading Bartholomew to join him the following year. Both occupied various departments in different roles, with Bartholomew working at the National Security Council during the Carter administration and later succeeding Gelb as the director of politico-military affairs at the State Department.
Prior to his first ambassadorship, Bartholomew spent 15 years advising presidents and secretaries of state, most notably playing a key role in the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks II arms limitation talks with the Soviet Union in 1979. In 1983, Bartholomew was appointed ambassador to Lebanon.
In the following years, terrorists bombed the newly constructed United States Embassy, as well as a Marine barracks.
The escalating violence pressured the United States to pull its troops from the region. Under Bartholomew"s advisement however, President Reagan delayed ordering the withdrawal until February 1984. Bartholomew was appointed ambassador to Spain in 1986, where he led negotiations to preserve a greatly reduced military presence.
He had worked on similar negotiations before and would again later, in Italy, where he served as ambassador from 1993 to 1997.
He died in New York City, aged 76, from cancer.
He was also a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy and Council on Foreign Relations. Additionally, he was a former member of the United States National Security Council (1977–1979).
Married Rose-Anne Dognin. Children: Sylvie, Christian, Damien, Jonathan.