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] After his death, it was reported that he was a diabetic who struggled with chronic heart disease.[3]

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