A decorated Army officer who served in three wars, Petrone retired with the rank of colonel and went on to a distinguished career as a diplomat and political activist.
Petrone grew up in Marshalltown, Iowa, and graduated from the United States Military Academy (West Point) in 1944. He served as a lieutenant in the 3rd Army following the Allied invasion of Normandy.
Petrone remained in the Army until his retirement in 1970, serving as a White House aide under President Dwight D. Eisenhower and later as a U.S. military attache in Paris.
The Petrones returned to Iowa and chaired Presidential Ronald Reagan’s state re-election campaign in 1984, then headed back to Europe as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations’ European office in Geneva, Switzerland, from 1987-89.
The Petrones came back to the United States in 1989 and settled in New Hampshire, purchasing the historic Knollwood estate built in Dublin for banker Franklin MacVeagh, who served as U.S. Secretary of the Treasury from 1909–13.
They remained active through the 2016 New Hampshire presidential primary, endorsing former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush for the GOP nomination. Over the years they acted as state chairs to presidential campaigns for Reagan, Bob Dole, George W. Bush and Rudy Giuliani.