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Malcolm Williams Callanan ’41

Published in May 12, 1993, issue

PNEUMONIA TOOK BILL on Feb. 8, 1993, at the Greenleaf Nursing Home in Doylestown, Penn.

Following early careers in banking and newspaper publishing, Bill said he took up teaching because "it's hard to beat getting paid for reading and talking about books." In 1956, he joined the staff at Solebury School in New Hope, Penn., taught algebra, French, Latin, and Far Eastern history, and was Head of School from 1972 to 1978. He continued to teach Mandarin Chinese there until his retirement in 1985. A memorial service on Apr. 25, 1993, at Solebury celebrated Bill's life.

A classmate recalls running into Bill Callanan a few years after the war and asking him what he did in it. He answered, "I was a spy. I am the kind of person no one notices." No amplification. The facts are that he had been recruited by "Wild Bill" Donovan's O.S.S., posted to Algeria (where he taught himself Arabic), and was slipped five times behind Nazi lines in Yugoslavia. There, with his great gift for language, he picked up the SerboCroatian tongue and was instrumental in the U.S. effort to help Marshal Tito edge out others vying for partisan power.

Bill never married. He leaves a brother, Edward (Harvard '41 and a Ph.D.). We mourn his passing.

The Class of 1941

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