Eugene Burdick

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Eugene Leonard Burdick (December 12, 1918 – July 26, 1965) was an American political scientist, novelist, and non-fiction writer, co-author of The Ugly American (1958), Fail-Safe (1962), and author of The 480 (1965).[1]

He was born in Sheldon, Iowa, the son of Marie Ellerbroek and Jack Dale Burdick.[2] His family moved to Los Angeles, California when he was four years of age.[1] He attended Stanford University, served in the Navy during World War II, after which he pursued his graduate studies at Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar in 1948.[3] He worked at the department of political science at the University of California.

He first gained national attention as a writer in 1947 when his short story, "Rest Camp on Maui," which had appeared in Harper's Magazine, was the second prize selection for the O. Henry Award.[4] In 1956 his first novel, The Ninth Wave, was published, and was a Book of the Month Club selection.[5][6] At the close of the 1950s, he was among the first members of the Society for General Systems Research.[3]

Burdick died in 1965 of a heart attack, while playing tennis, at the age of 46.[7][8] After his death, it was reported that he was a diabetic who struggled with chronic heart disease.[3]



  1. ^ a b "Papers of Eugene L. Burdick". Special Collections Department, University of Iowa Libraries. c. 2003. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  2. ^ Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature - R. Reginald, Douglas Menville, Mary A. Burgess - Google Books
  3. ^ a b c University of California, Biography
  4. ^ Random House: O.Henry Stories
  5. ^ Encyclopedia of Surfing
  6. ^ Berkeley Daily Planet
  7. ^ Cal Alumni Association
  8. ^ "The New York Times: Tuesday July 27, 1965". Retrieved 2016-08-05.
  9. ^ Lederer, William J.; Burdick, Eugene (1965). Sarkhan. McGraw-Hill. OCLC 1061482.
  10. ^ Lederer, William J; Burdick, Eugene (November 1977). The Deceptive American. W. W. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-08802-1. OCLC 3203901.

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