Former US ambassador, child star Shirley Temple Black dies at 85

Former child star Shirley Temple Black died late Monday evening at the age of 85, according to multiple reports. 

A family spokeswoman said Temple Black “peacefully passed away,” Reuters reports. She died of natural causes.

Temple Black, who began acting in movies at an early age, entered the worlds of politics and diplomacy later on in her life.

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She ran unsuccessfully for Congress in California in 1967, when she was defeated by former Rep. Pete McCloskey (R-Calif.). Temple Black ran her campaign on a platform of defending America’s involvement in the Vietnam War.

She decided to stay in politics, and went on to help raise more than $2 million for Richard Nixon’s reelection campaign.

In 1969, then-President Nixon appointed Temple Black to be a delegate on the American diplomatic team to the United Nations. 

President Gerald Ford appointed her U.S. ambassador to Ghana in 1974. Two years later, Temple Black was named the first female chief of protocol, whose responsibility is to oversee all U.S. embassies and consulates. 

In 1989, then-President George H.W. Bush appointed her ambassador to the former Czechoslovakia.  

That year, Reuters notes, Temple Black said she had spent 20 years in public service, more than her 19-year-long acting career in Hollywood.