1869–1934, American author and diplomat, b. Urbana, Ohio. After working as a reporter and practicing law, he became reform mayor of Toledo (1905–13). Meanwhile he wrote realistic novels chiefly concerned with politics, among them The Thirteenth District
(1902) and The Turn of the Balance
(1907). His service as U.S. minister and ambassador to Belgium from 1913 to 1922 was distinguished for his efforts to defend the British nurse Edith Cavell
and for his care of refugees. His later novels are surpassed by his nonfiction— Belgium: a Personal Record
(1919) and a fine biography of Lafayette (1929).
See his autobiography, Forty Years of It (1914), and his letters and journals (ed. with biographical introduction by A. Nevins, 2 vol., 1936). See also biography by D. D. Anderson (1968); studies by J. Tager (1968) and R. M. Crunden (1969).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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