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Notorious Madame Nhu Dies

By Vietnam magazine 
Originally published on Published Online: April 27, 2011 
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Madame Nhu with President Lyndon Johnson, the first lady and President Ngo Dinh Diem in 1961. (LBJ Library)
Madame Nhu with President Lyndon Johnson, the first lady and President Ngo Dinh Diem in 1961. (LBJ Library)
Madame Nhu, who was first lady of the Diem regime in the late 1950s and early 1960s, died in a Rome hospital on April 24, believed to be 87. Following the murder of her brother-in-law, President Ngo Dinh Diem, and her husband, Ngo Dinh Nhu, during the military coup on November 1, 1963, Madame Nhu accused the U.S. government of inciting and backing the coup. Visiting the United States at the time of the murder, Madame Nhu declared she would never seek political asylum in the United States, "a country with people who have stabbed my Government." Peter Brush, in his article on Madame Nhu in the October 2009 issue of Vietnam magazine said: "Had Madame Nhu been in Saigon at the time, the new junta would have had a terrible problem trying to keep howling mobs from lynching her." From the United States, she flew to Rome, where she presumably lived until her death.

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