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'Ugly American' author dies

Matt Schudel

William J. Lederer, the coauthor of "The Ugly American," a 1958 novel that influenced U.S. foreign policy and was credited with helping to inspire the Peace Corps, has died at age 97.

The phrase "the ugly American" has come to personify a certain species of boorish, self-interested American traveling abroad, but in the book itself it meant the opposite. The "ugly American" of the title was an engineer in Asia who helped design irrigation projects. He worked with people at the ground level, helping win hearts and minds.

A full obituary will follow.

By Matt Schudel  |  January 8, 2010; 2:57 PM ET
Categories:  Matt Schudel  
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I never met William J. Lederer, but his son Brian was one of my high school classmates (Punahou class of 1962). Brian currently lives in DC.

Posted by: rlguenther | January 8, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

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