Shirley Temple Black, From Child Star To Diplomat In the wake of her passing, remembrances of Shirley Temple Black have often focused on her fame as a child star, but she also long served as an ambassador — to both Ghana and Czechoslovakia. To find out more about Black's diplomatic service, Melissa Block speaks with Charles Gati, the State Department consultant who prepared Black for her post in Czechoslovakia.

Shirley Temple Black, From Child Star To Diplomat

Shirley Temple Black, From Child Star To Diplomat

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In the wake of her passing, remembrances of Shirley Temple Black have often focused on her fame as a child star, but she also long served as an ambassador — to both Ghana and Czechoslovakia. To find out more about Black's diplomatic service, Melissa Block speaks with Charles Gati, the State Department consultant who prepared Black for her post in Czechoslovakia.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

We're going to take a few minutes now to remember Shirley Temple Black, who died Monday at the age of 85. As a child actor during the Great Depression, Shirley Temple became a superstar and a millionaire. But she retired from acting at 22, and few child stars have had a more remarkable second act.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

President Nixon appointed her a delegate to the U.N. General Assembly in 1969. In the mid-1970s, she was appointed U.S. ambassador to Ghana and in 1989, President George H.W. Bush named her ambassador to Czechoslovakia.

SIEGEL: Black took the work seriously. In this 1986 interview, she told NPR's Scott Simon that her passion for diplomacy began when she was young.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

(LAUGHTER)

BLOCK: But she did.

: Oh, she did. Oh, she did, when it required a bit of acting. Who knows? But maybe that helped her.

BLOCK: Well, Mr. Gati, thanks for sharing your memories of Shirley Temple Black with us.

: OK, my pleasure. Thank you.

BLOCK: That's former State Department adviser Charles Gati, talking about working with Shirley Temple Black, after she had been named ambassador to Czechoslovakia. Shirley Temple Black died yesterday at age 85.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "YOU GOT TO S-M-I-L-E")

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