Peter Tarnoff, a seasoned diplomat whose work behind the scenes for presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton included establishing a secret channel to Fidel Castro and helping arrange the escape of six U.S. Embassy officials from Iran, an escapade later depicted in the 2012 movie “Argo,” died on Nov. 1 at his home in San Francisco.
His wife, Mathea Falco, said the cause of death was complications of Parkinson’s disease.
Mr. Tarnoff was part of a cohort of Foreign Service officers who, inspired by the words of President John F. Kennedy, joined the American diplomatic corps in the early 1960s.
Many of them cut their teeth on assignment in South Vietnam, and several — among them Mr. Tarnoff, Anthony Lake, Frank Wisner II and Richard Holbrooke — went on to play leading roles in the U.S. foreign policy establishment.
But while outsize personalities like Mr. Holbrooke, a frequent contender for secretary of state, and Mr. Lake, a national security adviser under Bill Clinton, became famous, Mr. Tarnoff preferred to wield his influence out of the public eye.
Peter Tarnoff, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Fidel Castro, ”, Mathea Falco, Tarnoff, John F, Kennedy, Anthony Lake, Frank Wisner, Richard Holbrooke —, Mr, Holbrooke
Embassy, Foreign Service
Iran, San Francisco, South Vietnam, U.S