Born in Yonkers, New York, Ellsworth Bunker was a businessman who became a diplomat and was best-known for his role as U.S. ambassador to Vietnam from 1967 to 1973. Serving during the years of peak U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, he played a major role in making policy. Bunker began his diplomatic career as ambassador to Argentina in 1951 and subsequently served in Italy from 1952 to 1953 and India from 1956 to 1961. He was mediator of the Dutch-Indonesian dispute over West New Guinea in 1962. In his eighties, Bunker helped negotiate the Panama Canal treaty of 1977, by which the United States agreed to give Panama control of the canal by the year 2000.