CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - William C. Battle, former US ambassador to Australia and a retired textiles executive, died Saturday after suffering a stroke. He was 87.
Mr. Battle died at the University of Virginia Medical Center, according to a hospital spokeswoman.
He was the son of John S. Battle, who served as Virginia governor from 1950 to 1954. In 1969, the younger Mr. Battle made his own Democratic bid for governor, losing to Linwood Holton, the first Republican governor of Virginia since Reconstruction.
Mr. Battle served in the US Navy during World War II and was in the same squadron in the South Pacific as John F. Kennedy. He was awarded the Silver Star for his service.
Mr. Battle served as Kennedy's campaign manager in Virginia and as coordinator for the Southeastern states. After Kennedy's election, Mr. Battle was appointed US ambassador to Australia, a position he held until 1964.
He retired in 1983 as president and chief executive of Fieldcrest Mills, a textile firm that now is a part of