Eugene Fodor (writer)

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Eugene Fodor (/ˈfdər/; October 14, 1905 – February 18, 1991) was a Hungarian-American writer of travel literature.


Fodor was born in Léva, Hungary (then Austria-Hungary; now Levice, Slovakia). Noting that travel guides of his time were boring, he wrote a guide to Europe, On the Continent—The Entertaining Travel Annual, which was published in 1936 by Francis Aldor, Aldor Publications, London and was reprinted in 2011 by Random House as an e-book.[1]

In his youth, Fodor studied political economics at the Sorbonne and at the University of Grenoble in France. Fodor joined the US Army in 1942 during World War II, and was transferred to the Office of Strategic Services, serving in Europe, his spy status was kept a secret until nearly thirty years later, when it was revealed by E. Howard Hunt Jr.. He married Vlasta Zobel, a Czech national, in 1948.[2]

From The Wall Street Journal:

In the race to liberate Prague at the end of World War II, Eugene Fodor won; the founder of the eponymous travel-guide series was a U.S. Army lieutenant and officer of the Office of Strategic Services when he bounced into the Czechoslovak capital with two other Americans in a lone jeep on May 8, 1945, V-E Day. Though Berlin had fallen to the Soviets almost two weeks before, Prague was still something of a no-man's land, with Russian forces hundreds of miles east of the city, American troops stalled just to the west and Czech insurgents battling it out against scattered Nazi diehards.

Fodor and the rest of his group—Sgt. Kurt Taub and Pvt. Nathan Shapiro—made it 100 miles through disintegrating German lines armed with only a rifle and a few pistols. Along the way, they managed to depose the pro-Nazi mayor of Karlsbad and pick up a shipment of insulin to deliver to Prague's besieged hospitals.

In 1949, he founded Fodor's in Paris, France, he created Fodor Modern Guides, operating mainly from Paris but moved to Litchfield, Connecticut in 1964, and lived there until his death at 85 in 1991.

[3] Fodor was elected to the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) World Travel Congress Hall of Fame, the only travel editor to be so honored.[citation needed]


  • "Eugene Fodor". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved October 30, 2005.
  • "Travel: literature and guidebooks". Princeton University. Retrieved August 18, 2010.