March 01, 2001

Farewell to a Friend



It is with great sadness that I announce here the passing of a friend and colleague. Helen Boldyreff Semler, a valued member of this magazine’s Advisory Board, died on January 12 after a long battle with stomach cancer. She was just 67.

Helen was the daughter of Russian emigrants. Her father, Constantine Boldyreff, was a leader of the exiled anti-Bolshevik movement and later headed the Russian department at Georgetown University. Helen spoke six languages and had served as an interpreter for Richard Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev in the 1970s and between the Clintons and the Yeltsins in the 1990s. She did a variety of consulting work for US multinationals interested in Russia, and was a great supporter of Russian culture and the arts.

Helen was married to Peter Semler, a career US Diplomat, which took her to postings around the world. It was during their posting in Moscow that she began work on her incomparable guidebook – Discovering Moscow, first published in 1987 and recently revised and reissued by Liberty Publishing.


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Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

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