My name is Carleton Coon. I am the author of these essays, except as otherwise noted, and the owner/manager of this website. I am a retired US diplomat living in Washington Virginia, and in Washington DC. I was born in 1927, graduated from Harvard in 1949 (after serving briefly in the US Army at the end of World War II), and joined the US Foreign Service that same year. 37 years of government service saw me posted in a variety of countries stretching from Morocco to Nepal. From 1981-1984 I was US Ambassador to Nepal. I retired in 1985.
After retirement I rediscovered some old interests that I had had little time to pursue during my diplomatic career. Music was one, mostly western classical but also non-western. With the help of rapidly evolving computer programs I composed a number of works, mostly chamber and piano. Meanwhile I renewed an old interest in human evolution, which I had inherited from my anthropologist father, and traveled widely in parts of the world I had not previously visited. I wrote essays on the human condition and several books. My interests increasingly focused on humanism and I became involved with the American Humanist Association. In 2004 I was elected to the AHA Board and shortly afterwards became AHA’s Vice President. I served as VP for five years, then retired (for the second time) and turned to family, writing, and further reflection on the human condition.
As I hope the essays on this site will show, you can retire from active service in an organization without retiring your interests as well. There is plenty of foolishness in today’s world, and I am glad I have the time and the leisure to report on it, for any and all that care to listen.
I hope that the foregoing does not suggest that I have retired from listening, and remain interested only in pontificating. On the contrary, let me know your thoughts, give me a hard time, and let’s have a good free-for-all discussion. Good ideas can evolve that way.