Blackwill was born August 8, 1939, in Kellogg, Idaho. and grew up in Kansas. "From my boyhood on the Great Plains, I brought back east more than 30 years ago the values of Kansas and its people: honesty, candor, compassion, hard work, a dogged stamina in the face of challenge and adversity, a sense of humor, a recognition of one's own limitations, and a deep and abiding love of country," Blackwill said in June 2001 at his Senate confirmation hearings to become ambassador to India. Blackwill earned a B.A. from Wichita State University.
Blackwill served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi from 1964 to 1966. While in the Peace Corps Blackwill served with writer Paul Theroux who Blackwill later described as "the glorious American writer who was my friend in the Peace Corps in Africa more than thirty years ago." In an interview with Rediff News on June 27, 2006 Blackwill was asked if he was... Read More