FOREIGN RELATIONS: Arsenic for the Ambassador

One of the best kept secrets of U.S. diplomacy has been the cause of recurring illnesses of Clare Boothe Luce during her three years-plus as Ambassador to Italy. Last week the secret came out: she was poisoned.

The scene of the poisoning was one of Borgian splendor: her spacious, high-ceilinged bedroom in the 17th century Villa Taverna, the residence of U.S. Ambassadors to Rome. When Ambassador Luce took over in Rome in late April 1953, she loved the bedroom at first sight, noted approvingly that the heavy-beamed ceiling—admired by a long line of...

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