Chronology – Life

1924 September 22. Born in Hue.
1944 Graduates with a Bachelauoreate in Philosophy from Lycee Khai Dinh, Hue.   Begins medical studies, University of Hanoi.
1945 March, studies ended after Japanese take over from French administrators. Bicycles from Hanoi to Hue, sees famine. Resolves to study economics. Becomes secretary to Minister of Youth in Bao Dai administration.
1945 August Revolution in Hanoi. Witnesses declaration of independence. Becomes translator in the office of the President, Ho Chi Minh. Interpreter for Archimedes Patti, Head of OSS mission. Becomes one of first announcers on English language “Voice of Vietnam” radio.   Helps set up magazine of Vietnamese-American Friendship Association.
1946 Autumn, leaves Hanoi, after realizing Viet Minh is nationalist false front for world communist revolution.
1947 Leaves Vietnam to study at London School of Economics.
1952 Obtains Bachelor of Science in Economics. Goes to Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva for post-graduate study.
1953 Meets Ngo Dinh Diem in Paris.
1954 Completes Masters degree in political science.


Member of South Vietnamese delegation to Geneva Conference on Indochina, May.


Returns to Saigon as presidential press aide, July.


Participates in negotiations for transfer of French rule to Vietnamese control.

1955 Serves in Vietnamese embassy in Paris. Marries Nguyen Thi Le Van October. Serves as instructor at Michigan State University, Government Research Bureau which provided advisory services to the South Vietnamese government.
1956 May, returns to Saigon. Resumes work as press officer to the President.
1959 Begins doctoral studies at the Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva.   Daughter, Thuy Lan born.
1961/62 Member of the South Vietnamese delegation to the Geneva Conference on Laos.
1963 June, graduates with doctorate in political science. Thesis India and Southeast Asia: 1947-1960 published in Geneva. Returns to Saigon as Director General of Vietnam Press.


November 1: With President Ngo Dinh Diem on the day of the coup d’etat.

1964 Resigns government post and becomes journalist and managing editor for Saigon Daily News and later the Viet Nam Guardian.
1966 Viet Nam Guardian shut down by government of Nguyen Cao Ky.   Assassination attempt.
1967 Helps establish Faculty of Social Sciences at Buddhist Van Hanh University and becomes Dean.
1968 February, captured by Viet Cong in Hue in surprise Tet Offensive. Mother is killed by shelling.


April, appointed Minister of Information by Prime Minister Tran Van Huong. Removes all press censorship.


September, presented the Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature and the Creative Communication Arts in Manila.


December, resigns post as Minister in a policy dispute with President Nguyen Van Thieu.

1975 April, departs Saigon with family to Paris, then Canada. Becomes lecturer in linguistics at Universite de Trois-Rivieres, Quebec.
1989 Publishes The Foreign Politics of the Communist Party of Vietnam:   A Study in Communist Tactics (Crane and Russak).
1990 Publishes Ho Chi Minh and the Comintern (monograph, Information and Resource Centre, Singapore)
1992 Retires in Ottawa
2014 October 3. Dies in Ottawa, at home with his family.

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