Hiram Bingham IV, one-time member of the U.S. diplomatic corps, died in obscurity and nearly penniless in 1988. He would have remained obscure if not for the following:
…in 1994, Bingham’s son discovered a cache of documents, bound together with bailing wire and tape, in the back of a closet in his parents’ Salem, Connecticut, home, six years after Hiram Bingham’s death. That find revealed to his 11 children how he had secretly, and against official policy, processed thousands of visas that enabled refugees from Hitler’s Nazi regime to start new lives in America.
Most of the rest of the story is here, but not all. Apparently, the FDR Administration ultimately became so annoyed with Bingham that he was posted to Argentina in 1941, where he continued to be a problem to the State Department by reporting on Nazi war criminals after 1945. He was ultimately demoted, then forced out of the service. For fifty years, State refused to honor him, until 2002, when Colin Powell, as Secretary of State, recognized him as a hero. Other recognitions and awards followed soon thereafter. It’s all here.