London, 1906 — Rio de Janeiro, 1983




Known as “Jimmy” Chermont, he began his diplomatic career in 1931, under chancellor Afrânio de Mello Franco, who was to become his father-in-law. In August 1936, Itamaraty designated him the full-time chaperone for Stefan Zweig during his first visit to Brazil and, in a sense, was responsible for the writer’s enthusiasm for the country. The good relationship with Chermont drew Zweig closer to the Mello Franco clan, who at the time were well placed within the Ministry of Foreign Relations. Thanks to this relationship, in 1938, following the annexation of Austria by Germany, Zweig’s naturalization request was favourably received by Itamaraty and only didn’t go ahead because the applicant preferred British citizenship, since he was living in London. Three years later the Mello Franco family were also decisive in obtaining a residents visa for the Zweigs, a privilege granted few refugees, especially Jews.


Jimmy Chermont held important diplomatic posts, such as the general consulate in New York and embassies in American and European capitals, and retired in 1968 when he stepped down as head of the Brazilian mission in London.


Address listed:  Rua Francisco Octaviano, No. 38, Rio Tel. 47-1968