Saturday, July 23, 2011


Nguyen Cao Ky is dead.  According to the Los Angeles Times, the former South Vietnamese premier died at a hospital in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where he was being treated for a respiratory problem.  He was 80 years old.

I met the former general once, though it was not in Vietnam, in spite of my "foreign correspondent style" leisure suit shown in this photo.

That's his wife du jour in the center.  He was married three times.  Anyway, it was in northern California where a refugee camp had been set up for hundreds of Vietnamese fleeing the communist victory in the war and takeover of the entire country.

Over the years, I've had numerous people view this picture and say "I didn't know you were in Vietnam."  I had to then explain the photo.

Nguyen Cao Ky was running a liquor store in Southern California shortly after these photos were taken.  He spent the rest of his life living in California and Vietnam.


  1. great piece of history. great to see the vintage shots of you at work. you were a damned good reporter, but I forgot how much you looked the role too. I hope your Oddball Observation readers gain a little insight into your journalistic past by seeing you in action.

  2. Fantastic post. I did two tours in Vietnam, but didn't meet anyone of note. Except for the guys I served with, I guess that's something.

  3. Nice insight! I presume you must have flashbacks all the time while reading the news...

  4. What an interesting side note to you. It is these little tidbits that gives us a bit of insight.

  5. Was hanging around Wikipedia and four hours later ended up on this page (you know how that happens).

    Anyway, I remember when Ky was a really big shot. Never took note of where he ended up after South Vietnam vanished off the face of the earth.

    Come to find out today, Oct. 12, 2013, that he operated a liquor store in Norwalk, California?! I guess Washington abandoned him as it did with many of those heads of govt. or dictators who fell out of the then-current administration's favor.


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