Paddock, William 1921-2008 (William C. Paddock, William Carson Paddock)

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Paddock, William 1921-2008 (William C. Paddock, William Carson Paddock)


See index for CA sketch: Born September 23, 1921, in Minneapolis, MN; died of complications from a stroke, in March, 2008, in Antigua, Guatemala. Plant pathologist, field researcher, educator, administrator, consultant, and author. Paddock lived and worked in tropical Central America for many years, traveling the rural byroads and sluggish waterways of Guatemala and Honduras, searching for solutions to famine and hunger in the Third World. In the 1950s Paddock was a professor of plant pathology at Iowa State University and director of the university's Guatemala Tropical Research Center. There he succeeded in developing a strain of corn that could survive the tropical soil conditions, resist crop disease, and provide enhanced levels of Vitamin A. Paddock knew even then, however, that plant technology could never meet the dietary needs of an overpopulated and ever expanding world. He also felt that creating false optimism over the future of the world food supply and the potential for third-world nations to produce enough food for their own needs was a dangerous practice, and that government food assistance programs, however well intentioned, were glaring failures. Paddock worked as an agronomist for the U.S. International Cooperation Agency in Guatemala City, as director of El Zamorano, the Pan-american School of Agriculture in Honduras, and as a consultant in tropical agricultural development. He was active in professional organizations and in societies devoted to social activism, such as Zero Population Growth and the Federation for American Immigration Reform, and was a founder of the Environmental Fund. Paddock coauthored several books, mostly in the 1960s and seventies, about world food issues that persist to the present day. His books include Hungry Nations (1964), Famine, 1975! America's Decision: Who Will Survive? (1967), We Don't Know How: An Independent Audit of What They Call Success in Foreign Assistance (1973), and Times of Famines: America and the World Food Crises (1976).



Washington Post, March 13, 2008, p. B7.