Our History

Historical Context:    Timeline of U.S. - Saudi Relations

With an alliance nearly a century old — reaching back to the start of oil exploration in the Kingdom in 1933, only a year after its official founding in 1932 — the United States and Saudi Arabia share a strong history of cooperation and friendship.

Since those early days of American oil exploration, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. have collaborated  on many important global issues that actually go far beyond the simplistic view that the partnership is transactional and based solely on a trade of energy access in return for security.

Today the alliance remains intact and is entering a new era as Saudi Arabia transforms its once oil-based economy into a socially and economically revolutionized, productivity-based nation with many incredible new business opportunities.

Following the Yalta Conference in 1945, U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt boarded the U.S.S. Quincy and steamed south towards the Suez Canal for a secret meeting.

The Quincy was a Baltimore class battleship that had been retrofitted for a Presidential cruise. Upon arrival at Egypt’s Bitter Lake in the Suez Canal, Roosevelt met secretly for several days with King Abdulaziz, the country’s founding king.

The meeting was orchestrated by Colonel Bill Eddy, who is described by historian Thomas Lippman as, “the nearest thing the United States has to Lawrence of Arabia”. Colonel Eddy was a highly decorated Marine WWI combat veteran who received two Purple Hearts, two Silver Stars, the Navy Cross, and the Distinguished Service Cross.

Eddy was also the great-uncle of our founder, Ken Close. Their family had come to Beirut in 1850, staying continuously in the region for 165 years as missionaries, educators, doctors, diplomats and businessmen.

During WWII, Eddy was the OSS chief in North Africa and organized the Arab tribes for Operation Torch, among other missions. A fluent Arabic speaker, he later lived in Jidda and became a personal friend of King Abdulaziz. At the King’s request, Eddy served as the interpreter for both leaders during the days aboard the Quincy and the two heads of state developed an instant rapport with each other.

Although President Roosevelt died only weeks after this historic meeting, it proved to be an auspicious beginning to seven decades of unique friendship and support between the two countries.

Today, The Quincy Group continues to be one of the very few trusted and established foreign consulting companies based in Saudi Arabia and boasting a unique understanding of the nation’s culture, customs and business environment.