Eddy, William A. (William Alfred), 1896-

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A graduate of Princeton in the Class of 1917, Eddy served as chairman (1923-1928) of the Dept. of English at the American University in Cairo (Egypt) and president of Hobart College (1936-1941). In 1942, he was a Naval attache in Tangier; in 1944, he became Minister Plenipotentiary to Saudi Arabia. He also worked as an intelligence agent for the CIA and as a consultant on the Middle East for the Arabian-American Oil Company (ARAMCO).

From the description of William Alfred Eddy papers, 1858-1978. (Princeton University Library). WorldCat record id: 84433906

William A. Eddy was born in Sidon, Syria, on March 9th, 1896. He was graduated from Princeton in 1917, the year in which he married Mary Garvin. His A.M. and Ph.D were also from Princeton. In WWI he was badly wounded at Belleau Wood and received many citations. From 1922-1936 he taught English at Peekskill Military Academy and Dartmouth College, and was chairman of the department of English at the American University, Cairo. In 1936 he was called to be president of Hobart College. With the outbreak of the second World War he offered his services again to the Marines, was commissioned a Major and was made a full colonel in the staff of Mark Clark. In 1942 Eddy was Naval Attache in Tangier, and was instrumental in the planning of the Allied North African landings. In 1944 he resigned from the Marine Corps to become Minister Plenipotentiary to Saudi Arabia. Fluent in Arabic (and French), he acted as interpreter for President Roosevelt and King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia during the historic meeting in the Suez Canal, and was key in developing the U.S. treaty with The Yemen in 1946. He served in the OSS and CIA for the remainder of his life, and was also a full-time consultant for the Arabian-American Oil Company. He died at his home in Beirut in 1962.

From the guide to the William Alfred Eddy Papers, 1859-1978, (Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Eddy, William Alfred, 1896-1962. William Alfred Eddy papers, 1858-1978. Princeton University Library
creatorOf William Alfred Eddy Papers, 1859-1978 Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections.Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library. Public Policy Papers.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American University in Cairo. Dept. of English and Comparative Literature. corporateBody
associatedWith Arabian American Oil Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Eddy, Mary Garvin. person
associatedWith Eddy, Mary Garvin. person
associatedWith Hobart College corporateBody
associatedWith Princeton University. Class of 1917. corporateBody
associatedWith Swift, Jonathan, 1667-1745 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Middle East
Yemen (Republic)
United States
United States
Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
Middle East
Middle East
World War, 1939-1945--Secret service
Diplomatic and consular service, American--20th century
Petroleum industry and trade--Saudi Arabia
American history/20th century
World War II
Diplomatic and consular service, American--Yemen--20th century
Diplomatic and consular service, American--Saudi Arabia--20th century
English literature--18th century
Arabic language
Petroleum industry and trade
World War, 1939-1945--Secret service--United States
Diplomats--United States
College presidents--United States


Birth 1896-03-09

Death 1962-05-03


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