William Clark; British Diplomat, Journalist

From Times Wire Services

William Clark, a diplomat, novelist, journalist and former World Bank vice president, has died at his home in Cuxham, near Oxford, relatives said. He was 68 and the cause of his death Thursday night was not disclosed.

Clark, who had been president of the International Institute for Environment and Development since 1980, began a diverse career after his education at Oxford University.

His first position was with the British Ministry of Information. By 1944 he had become information officer for the British delegation at the Bretton Woods conference in the United States which decided the Western world’s financial system for the next 30 years.

He was press attache at the British Embassy in Washington in 1945-46, attending the meetings between the American and British leaders of the day, President Harry S. Truman and Prime Minister Clement Attlee.


Clark then became London editor of the Encyclopedia Britannica from 1946 to 1949 and was a diplomatic correspondent for the British newspaper the Observer from 1950 to 1955, working out of New Delhi.

In 1955, he became public relations adviser to Sir Anthony Eden, then prime minister. But he resigned in 1956 after Britain, France and Israel invaded Egypt when that country nationalized the Suez Canal.

In 1960, he was appointed director of the Overseas Development Institute, joining the World Bank eight years later as Director of Information. He was the bank’s vice president for external relations from 1974 to 1980.

His first novel, “Number Ten,” about life at 10 Downing Street, official residence of British prime ministers, was published in 1967 and adapted for the London stage.


A second novel, “Cataclysm,” was published in 1984 and forecast a collapse of the world’s economic order in 1987. He also wrote several books about international relations including “Less Than Kin,” a study of British-American relations. He was a lifelong bachelor.