Name: Askey, Dennis (1919-2009)

Historical Note:

Dennis Ulysses Askey was born on May 13, 1919 in Gonzales, Texas. He graduated as valedictorian from I.M. Terrell High School in Fort Worth in 1935, and graduated from Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas in 1939. He relocated to Washington, D.C. in 1940, and served in the U.S. Army in the Second World War, landing at Normandy Beach two days after D-Day in 1944. According to his obituary in the Washington Post, he returned to Washington, D.C. after the war, and owned a print shop, designed publications, and put on weekend dances for teenagers. Askey attended American University from 1954 through 1956, and joined the United States Information Agency as an information specialist on December 10, 1956. Askey took a six-month assignment in Afghanistan in 1960, gathering material and designing the book Afghanistan: Ancient Land with Modern Ways. He also served as an editor for USIA's Russian-language magazine America Illustrated. In 1963, he was named a Staff Assistant to USIA director Edward R. Murrow. Askey was named a Foreign Service officer in 1969, and served in Japan, and in Trinidad and Tobago from 1975 until he retired in 1979.

A lifelong jazz fan, Askey developed friendships with major artists including Duke Ellington, Teddy Wilson, Oscar Peterson, and Art Blakey; he was a prolific collector of jazz recordings, and occasionally wrote and gave lectures about jazz. Dennis Askey died in Washington, D.C. on March 1, 2009.


Dennis Ulysses Askey in the U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947, via, viewed December 1, 2020.

Department of State, Office of the Historian, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1917–1972, Volume VII, Public Diplomacy, 1964–1968 Persons, viewed December 1, 2020.

Matt Schudel, "Dennis Askey, 89; Foreign Service Officer Created Publications Worldwide," Washington Post, March 8, 2009, viewed December 1, 2020.

Dennis Askey at FindAGrave, viewed December 1, 2020.

"Askey named special aide to USIA director Murrow," Alabama Tribune, October 18, 1963, page 7, via, viewed December 1, 2020.

"Negro Graduates Discuss Economics," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, May 31, 1935, via, viewed December 1, 2020.

Note Author: Maristella Feustle

Records or Manuscript Collections Created by Askey, Dennis

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