James Purdy was born in Ohio in 1923. He attended the University of Puebla in Mexico and received a Master’s Degree in Romance languages from the University of Chicago in 1945. He studied in Paris in 1953. In 1947, and again in 1952, Mr. Purdy made extensive trips to Spain and “became very much devoted to Spanish civilization.” Purdy held interpreting positions in Mexico, Spain and Cuba; taught English at an American Academy in Havana, Cuba (1945); worked for the Andreas Foundation in Chicago. He came to New York City in the ’50s and made his home in Brooklyn. He died in Englewood, New Jersey in 2009.