Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History

Sauer, Anne

Branco, Jessica

Bennett, John

Crowley, Zachary


Root, Waverly L., 1903-82


Waverly Root (1903-82), A1941, a member of the class of 1924, was a noted journalist and food essayist.

Born in Providence, Rhode Island, on April 15, 1903, Root spent his formative years in Fall River, Massachusetts. He graduated from Durfee High School and entered Tufts College with an interest in English and journalism. First published in a local newspaper at the tender age of thirteen, Root was prepared for a lifetime of writing. Though he left Tufts with only three credit hours remaining, Root turned to what he termed "unskilled labor" and began a long and storied career in journalism. His first post, with the Chicago Tribune, brought him to Paris where he spent the majority of his adult life. At the Tribune his co-workers included such luminaries as Henry Miller and James Thurber. His correspondence abroad, including the last American radio broadcast from France to the U.S. before World War II, earned him the respectful title 'dean' of American international journalists."The Truth About Wagner," published in 1928 and "The Secret History of the War" in 1945 and 1946, his first books, reveal his wide variety of interests.

In 1941 Tufts granted Root his degree extra ordinem in recognition of his achievements. Furthermore, he received citations for work in the fields of music and international journalism. Yet his next book, in a different field altogether, would be his most popular."The Food of France," his foray into gastronomy, ended his thirty year career in international journalism."The Food" was published in 1958, has yet to go out of print, and cast Waverly Root as a cooking connoisseur. It was a title he bore successfully, publishing several other books in the field and writing numerous newspaper columns. Regrettably, his attempt to enter the field of fiction with the unsuccessful novel "X-Ray Eyes" forever convinced Root to restrict his professional endeavors.

While a student at Tufts, Root competed with the track and tennis teams, was a member of the band and the mandolin club, played the piano and edited the Tufts Weekly. In his professional life he was president of the Anglo-American Press Association of Paris, vice-president of the Overseas Press Club, and an officer in the Legion of Honor. His first marriage to Jeanne Rose Albinelli in July 1937 produced his only daughter, Diane Lane Root, and his second marriage to Colette Debenais in 1959 lasted until his death. Waverly Root had followed his father, Francis Solomon Root E1900, his mother Florence May Lewis W1899, and his aunt Martha Wonson W1898, to Tufts College. His younger sister Winifred Florence Root J1926 entered Tufts shortly after her brother.

Waverly Root published his final book "Food" in 1981, and died of a pulmonary ailment in Paris on October 31 of the following year. He was seventy-nine years old.

Sources: WR #1; VF

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Numeric Entries
Dame, Lorin Low, 1838-1903
Dana, Charles A., 1881-1975
Dana Laboratory, 1963
Daniel Ounjian Prize in Economics,
Davies, Caroline Stodder, 1864-1939
Davies House, 1894
De Florez Prize in Human Engineering, 1964
de Pacheco, Kaye MacKinnon, ca. 1910-ca. 1985
Dean Hall, 1887-1963
Dean, Oliver, 1783-1871
Dearborn, Heman Allen, 1831-1897
Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, 1893
Department of Anesthesia, 1970
Department of Art and Art History, 1930
Department of Biochemistry, 1893
Department of Chemistry, 1882
Department of Community Health, 1930
Department of Dermatology, 1897
The Department of Economics, 1946
Department of Medicine, 1893
Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Department of Neurology, 1893
Department of Neuroscience, 1983
Department of Neurosurgery, 1951
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1893
Department of Ophthamology, 1893
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, 1906
Department of Otolaryngology, 1895
Department of Pathology, 1893
Department of Pediatrics, 1930
Department of Pharmacology, 1915
Department of Physics and Astronomy, 1854
Department of Physiology, 1893
Department of Psychiatry, 1928
Department of Radiation Oncology, 1968
Department of Radiology, 1915
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, 1955
Department of Surgery, 1893
Department of Urban and Environmental Policy, 1973
Department of Urology, 1910
Dental Health Sciences Building, 1969
Dewick, Cora Alma (Polk), 1875-1977
Dewick/MacPhie Dining Hall, 1959
Dickson Professorship of English and American History, 1913
Dirlam, Arland A., 1905-1979
Dog Cart, 1900
Dolbear, Amos Emerson, 1837-1910
Donald A. Cowdery Memorial Scholarship, 1946
Dr. Benjamin Andrews Professorship of Surgery, 1987
Dr. Philip E. A. Sheridan Prize, 1977
The Drug Bust, 1970
Dudley, Henry Watson, 1831-1906
Dugger, Edward Jr., 1919-75
Durkee, Frank W., 1861-1939
Durkee, Henrietta Noble Brown, 1871-1946
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