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Richard T. Fleming

DUNN, WILLIAM EDWARD (1888–1966). William Edward Dunn, history professor and foreign service official, was born in Sulphur Springs, Texas, on March 2, 1888, the son of James McMurry and Lucie (Ballinger) Dunn. He attended high school in Sulphur Springs and Austin. He was awarded a B.A. degree at the University of Texas in 1909, an M.A. at Stanford University in 1910, and a Ph.D. at Columbia University in 1917. He was a student of Herbert Eugene Bolton at the University of Texas and went with Bolton to Mexico City to assist in research work on the early history of the Spanish Southwest.

Dunn returned to Austin in 1913 as an instructor in history and then Latin-American history and economics; in 1915–16 he served as Spanish archives investigator for the Library of Congress. During World War I he left the university faculty to serve in the naval intelligence service, in which he saw duty in various Latin-American countries. After the war he returned to the university to teach, then resigned to become Latin-American editor for the New York Sun Herald. From 1921 to 1924 he served as trade commissioner and commercial attaché in Lima, Peru, and from 1924 to 1927 as director general of internal revenue for the Republic of Haiti. In 1927 he resigned to enter private business in New York; in 1931 he retired from banking to become financial advisor to the Dominican government. From 1934 to 1937 he was assistant director for the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, from 1937 to 1939 commercial attaché to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and from 1939 to 1941 commercial attaché in Guatemala City. After 1942 he worked for the State Department as counselor for economic affairs in Bogotá, Colombia, and Santiago, Chile. From 1947 to 1949 he was chief of coordination staff of the Office of Intelligence Research, and in 1949 a political advisor to the United States delegation at the United Nations. In 1950 he became a lecturer at the School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C., and from 1953 on he was a director for the Inter-American Scholastic Service of the American Council on Education.

Dunn was the author of Commercial and Industrial Handbook on Peru (1925) and numerous monographs in the field of Latin-American history. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and the Metropolitan and Cosmos clubs in Washington, D.C. He married Linda Tays, and they had two children. The family lived in Washington, D.C., and Dallas. Dunn died in Dallas on November 18, 1966, and was buried at Sulphur Springs.

Alcalde (magazine of the Ex-Students' Association of the University of Texas), February 1915, February 1920, May 1921, February 1935, October 1937, June 1940, February 1950. Who's Who in America, 1923–53.

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Richard T. Fleming, "DUNN, WILLIAM EDWARD," accessed August 20, 2019,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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