Donald Willard Mulligan, father of Ron Mulligan, director of on-air promotion for CBS Television in Los Angeles, and a retired U.S. Foreign Service officer, died of prostate cancer April 6 at his home in New Carrollton, Md. He was , 78.
An employee of the U.S. Information Agency 1951-78, was born and raised in Paducah, Ken., and attended the U. of Chicago to study medicine but interrupted his education to join the Army during World War II. His service in France and Germany as an Army medic caused him to have a change of heart about pursuing a medical profession, and when he returned to college after the war, he switched to philosophy. He graduated from the U. of Chicago with a B.A. in 1947 and a master’s degree in international relations in 1950.
Among his many foreign duties, he was a cultural attache in Spain and Brazil. In 1971, he was instrumental in organizing a concert by Duke Ellington and his orchestra in Quito, Ecuador.
He retired from the USIA in 1978. In retirement he kept busy writing a novel about Henry Clay, acting and directing in local community theater and pursuing his longtime avocation for carpentry and construction.
Besides his son Ron, survivors include his wife of 50 years, Julia; another child, Carol; and two grandchildren.