For 37 of his 56 years, quiet, sharp-faced Clarence Edward Gauss (rhymes with boss) has been in the U.S. foreign service (he began as a $900-a-year State Department clerk). For 28 years he has represented the U.S. in China.

He started as deputy consul in Shanghai, moved around among the consulates in Tientsin, Amoy, Tsinan and Peiping. Back as Consul General in Shanghai in the ticklish years preceding the Sino-Japanese war, he made a quiet reputation for himself by getting small things done unobtrusively and well. As a longtime resident of China, he became virtually the head of Shanghai's International...

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