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Writer Haakon Chevalier Dies at 83

July 18, 1985|Associated Press

PARIS — Haakon Chevalier, an American writer-translator who left the United States in 1950 after being accused of "anti-American activities," died in Paris on July 4, his family said. He was 83.

Chevalier was a professor of French literature at the University of California, Berkeley, and a friend of physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, a major figure in the U.S. development of the atomic bomb.

In 1943, Oppenheimer, who was undergoing a security check for his government work, told federal investigators that Chevalier had been approached by Soviet agents.

Allegation Retracted

Chevalier denied any connection with the Soviets, and Oppenheimer later retracted his allegation. But Chevalier's family said he left the United States in 1950 and settled in Paris after political pressure prevented him from continuing his academic career in the United States.

In France, he translated the works of French writers Andre Malraux and Louis Aragon and others. He also wrote novels and a book based on his experiences during the McCarthy era, "Oppenheimer: The Story of a Friendship," published in 1965.

Chevalier is survived by two daughters, Karen and Suzanne, and two sons, Jacques and Haakon Jr.

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