Paul Hyde Bonner: American writer, novelist, and diplomat (1893 - 1968) | Biography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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Paul Hyde Bonner
American writer, novelist, and diplomat

Paul Hyde Bonner

Paul Hyde Bonner
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American writer, novelist, and diplomat
Was Author Novelist Writer
From United States of America
Field Literature
Gender male
Birth 14 February 1893
Death 14 December 1968 (aged 75 years)
Star sign Aquarius
Spouse: Lilly Stehli (-)Elizabeth McGowan
Children: John Tyler Bonner Paul Hyde Bonner Jr.
The details


Paul Hyde Bonner (14 February 1893, Brooklyn, New York City – 14 December 1968, Charleston, South Carolina) was an American writer and diplomat.

Early life and education

Paul Hyde Bonner was born on February 14, 1893, in Brooklyn, New York City, to Paul Edward and Theodora Bonner, née Hall. He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1911 and Harvard university in 1915. 


From 1917 to 1919, Bonner served in the United States Army Air Corps, where he served as a Second Lieutenant. From 1919 to 1931, Bonner was a senior executive and later vice president of the Stehli Silks Corporation in New York City –– the firm of which his father-in-law was once the president. During his military service during World War II, he was promoted to colonel. 

From 1946 to 1952, he served in the diplomatic service of the United States State Department, first in Paris and then in Rome, where he served as an economic adviser to the U.S. Ambassador in dealing with war damage.

Before establishing himself as a writer in 1953, Bonner wrote essays and articles on hunting and fishing in magazines such as The New Yorker, Vogue, North American Review, and Esquire. His first novel, S.P.Q.R. (1953), about an American diplomat in Rome, was published in 1956 in Germany under the title Summer in Rome. His book Excelsior (1955) was published in 1959 on German under the title Der Bankier.

Bonner's best-known novels include Hotel Talleyrand (1954), The Art of Llewellyn Jones (1960), and Ambassador Extraordinary (1962). They are mostly about international political intrigue. Hotel Talleyrand is about Walter Haines, who has a tragic affair with a communist agent. The main character in The Art of Llewellyn Jones is "F. Townsend Britton," a wealthy, married ambassador who gives up his wife and demanding life to assume the identity of "Llewellyn Jones." Under this name, he travels to Paris, where he finally experiences romance and finds success as a painter. The novel Ambassador Extraordinary is set in a fictional Caribbean republic called Antilla, in which the American ambassador "Sherman Biggs" gets involved with the beautiful wife of a powerful general. The woman, Juanita, works as a spy not only for the country's dictator but also for the rebels who hide in the mountains and wait to overthrow the government. The illustration for his book Aged in the Woods (1959), a volume of 16 partly autobiographical and partly fictional short stories, was done by the famed American bird illustrator and conservationist Don Richard Eckelberry.

Personal life

Paul Hyde Bonner married Lilly Stehli in 1927. Her father was the president of the Silk Weaving Company Stehli Silks Corporation in New York City. They had four children, of whom John Tyler Bonner (1920–2019) went on to become a well-known evolutionary biologist. Another son, Paul Hyde Bonner, Jr., (1918-1989) later became a literary agent. 

Lilly Stehli Bonner died at the end of 1961 at the age of 63. In January 1963, Paul Bonner married his second wife Elizabeth McGowan.





  • Who's Who in America. A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women. Marquis W
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