Arthur M. (Milton) Odum

Leslie Sharp filed this request with the U.S. Department of State of the United States of America.
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From: Leslie Sharp

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

Arthur M. Odum was a Foreign Service Officer posted in Maracaibo, Venezuela in 1963 and returned to Washington DC to 'administer a highly classified interagency intelligence-sharing program'. OBITUARY: At the height of the Cold War, with the Cuban missile crisis barely in the rearview mirror, the President of the United States was looking for a person to administer a highly classified interagency intelligence-sharing program. After careful consideration, the President appointed a young, up-and-coming United States Foreign Service officer who had just returned from a State Department assignment in Venezuela, Arthur M. Odum. Arthur was well prepared for the job. Prior to entering the Foreign Service, Arthur had served for four years in the United States Navy as the custodian of classified intelligence on Soviet nuclear capabilities, so he had first-hand knowledge of the scope, nature, and precise location of Soviet nuclear assets. Arthur quickly impressed the intelligence community in Washington with his ability to serve as the intelligence liaison between the director of the CIA, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and the White House. As Cold War tensions mounted, the need for skillful diplomacy became a national priority. So, after completing 12 months of intensive Russian language training, Arthur was relocated to the Soviet Union. Accompanied by his wife, Dr. Marillyn K. "Bitsy" Odum, and their two sons, John Arthur Odum and Christopher Digges Odum, the Odum family moved to Moscow where they lived in an apartment conveniently located a few doors down from Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. Arthur's mission was to gather intelligence and join the high-stakes diplomatic efforts to defuse tensions with the Soviet Union, hoping to prevent the apocalyptic nuclear war that many feared was inevitable. After successfully completing his foreign service assignments, Arthur turned his skills to the private sector, working on numerous domestic and international oil and gas industry endeavors. He lived and worked as an investment banker in Washington D.C., New York, and Dallas, where he focused on structuring drilling funds, private placements, public stock offerings, mergers and acquisitions. In 1985, Arthur and his wife moved to Midland, Texas, where he spent the rest of his career working on various oil and gas ventures. In 2016, he cofounded Smart Oil Funds, an innovative online oil and gas investment platform. Arthur served on various charitable boards in the Midland/Odessa area. Arthur and Marillyn Odum were also active in presenting lectures and exhibits of the family's collection of Soviet dissident art at museums and universities across Texas. The Odum collection can be viewed at Arthur M. Odum, 80, of Midland, passed away on Tuesday, February 21, 2017. Memorial services will be held on Monday, February 27, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Midland. Arthur was born on December 13, 1936 to Marguerite and Dewitt Odum in Jacksonville, Texas. He was awarded two degrees from the University of Texas, at Austin, and he spoke three languages; English, Spanish, and Russian. Arthur is survived by his son, John Arthur Odum; his daughter-in-law, Sherry Boyd Odum; and his brother, William Thomas Odum. He is preceded in death by his wife, Marillyn K. "Bitsy" Odum; and his son, Christopher Digges Odum.

Please search the Central Intelligency and all Military Intelligence agencies as well.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.


Leslie Sharp

From: U.S. Department of State

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