- Date of birth: May 22, 1924
- Died: November 16, 2006
- Born: in Paris, France.
- Description: American biographer who chronicled the lives of several well-known European writers, among them Nietzsche, George Sand, and André Malraux. Cate was born in Paris in 1924 to transplanted American parents. He died of melanoma in Paris, France, where he had lived for most of his life, on November 16, 2006.
Curtis Wilson Cate was born in Paris on May 22, 1924, to transplanted American parents. From 1943 to 1946, he served in Europe with the United States Army.
Mr. Cate earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard in 1947. This was followed by a master’s degree in Russian from the École des Langues Orientales in Paris and a master’s degree in philosophy, politics and economics from Oxford.
In 1954, Mr. Cate joined the staff of The Atlantic Monthly; he was the magazine’s European editor from 1958 to 1966. His writing also appeared in The New Republic, The New York Times Book Review and elsewhere.
Mr. Cate’s wife, the former Helena Bajanova, died in 2002.
Among Mr. Cate’s other books are “Antoine de Saint-Exupéry” (Putnam, 1970); “George Sand” (Houghton Mifflin, 1975); “The Ides of August: The Berlin Wall Crisis, 1961” (M. Evans, 1978); “The War of the Two Emperors: The Duel Between Napoleon and Alexander” (Random House, 1985); and “André Malraux” (Hutchinson, 1995).
He also wrote “My Road to Opera: The Recollections of Boris Goldovsky” (Houghton Mifflin, 1979), an as-told-to autobiography of the opera impresario.