Cover photo for Ambassador John C. Kornblum's Obituary
Ambassador John C. Kornblum Profile Photo
1943 Ambassador John C. Kornblum 2023

Ambassador John C. Kornblum

February 6, 1943 — December 21, 2023



Ambassador John C. Kornblum leaves behind a long record of service in the United States and Europe both as a diplomat and statesman. The son of Samuel and Ethelyn Kornblum, he was born in Detroit in 1943, and received a B.A. from Michigan State University in 1964. He married Helen Sen in 1987. The couple had two sons, Alexander and Stephen.


Amb. Kornblum was a preeminent expert on U.S.-European political and economic relations. He served as U.S. Ambassador to Germany from 1997 to 2001, and held many high-level diplomatic posts, including U.S. assistant secretary of state for European affairs, special envoy for the Dayton Peace Process, U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Process), deputy U.S. ambassador to NATO, and U.S. minister and deputy commandant of forces in divided Berlin.


After his retirement from government service, Amb. Kornblum was chairman of Lazard Freres Germany, and senior counselor to the international law firm Noerr. He served on numerous boards, including the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany, the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, and also as trustee of the American Academy in Berlin, which he helped establish. He was the recipient of many honorary awards, including a Knights Cross of the Order of Merit from Germany and an Order of Merit from Austria.


A memorial service will be held as follows:

Ambassador John Christian Kornblum (1943 - 2023)

Memorial Service

Saturday, January 27, at 2:00 pm

Westminster Presbyterian Church

3900 West End Avenue

Nashville, Tennessee 37205


In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to help protect Ukraine from air-borne attack, a cause of great importance to Ambassador Kornblum:

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, January 27, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

Westminster Presbyterian Church (West End Avenue)


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