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Robert Brewster, inspector general, ambassador; at 88

By Adam Bernstein
Washington Post / January 13, 2010

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WASHINGTON - Robert C. Brewster, 88, a career State Department officer who served as ambassador to Ecuador from 1973 to 1976 and retired in 1981 as inspector general, died Dec. 20 at the Ingleside at Rock Creek retirement community in Washington. He had stomach cancer and Parkinson’s disease.

Mr. Brewster, a native of Beatrice, Neb., and a World War II veteran, joined the State Department in 1948 and held assignments in Latin America and Europe. In the 1960s, he was executive director of the Bureau of European Affairs. He became an authority on the law of the sea.

During his years as ambassador, the United States lifted its ban on military sales to Ecuador in an effort to improve relations with Latin America. In retirement, Mr. Brewster remained a State Department consultant for a decade.