Mazel Tov to Sam Fox

After a long and sometimes challenging process, Sam Fox, St. Louis business leader and major philanthropic supporter of good causes in both the Jewish and general communities, has been named Ambassador to Belgium. Fox is believed to be the first St. Louisan of the Jewish faith to be appointed ambassador to a major European posting, and for this fact as well as for his many positive contributions to our community, he deserves to be congratulated.

As reported in these pages by Mike Sherwin, Fox’s nomination to be ambassador to Belgium was initially blocked when Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., objected to a contribution Fox made to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a controversial group who bought a series of advertisements questioning Kerry’s record during the Vietnam War. Ultimately, when it became clear that the nomination would not clear the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, President George W. Bush named Fox to the post through a “recess appointment.”

Now that the process is over, and Fox prepares to take up his post, it is noteworthy that Sen. Kerry himself, in an interview with Charles Brennan on KMOX Radio, said that while he strongly objected to Fox’s contribution to the Swift Boat group, he acknowledged that Fox is indeed an exemplary citizen of St. Louis and Missouri, as demonstrated by his numerous and major charitable undertakings, including the Sam Fox School for Arts at Washington University, major gifts to the St. Louis Art Museum, and the Marilyn Fox Building of the Jewish Community Center, named in honor of his wife, just to name a few. In the interview with Sherwin of our staff after his appointment, Fox good naturedly accepted the rough and tumble of the nomination process, and in other interviews went out of his way to stress that if Senator Kerry and others who questioned his nomination visit Brussels, they will be warmly welcomed by Sam and Marilyn Fox at the U.S. Embassy.

We congratulate Sam Fox on his historic honor, and we know from experience that Sam and Marilyn Fox will bring their unique and warm hospitality to their new responsibilities of representing the United States in a key diplomatic post.

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