Eugene Walter was an eyewitness to the history of the heart of the last century and knew everyone from William Faulkner and Martha Graham to Judy Garland and Leontyne Pricem in addition to Truman Capote and Tallulah Bankhead.
In his 76 years, Eugene Walter ate of "the ripened heart of life," to quote a letter from Isak Dinesen, another of his many illustrious friends. Walter savored the porch life of his native Mobile, Alabama, in the the l920s and '30s; stumbled into the Greenwich Village art scene in late-1940s New York; was a ubiquitous presence in Paris's expatriate café society in the 1950s (where he was part of the Paris Review at its inception); and later, in 1960s Rome, participated in the golden age of Italian cinema. He was somehow everywhere, bringing with him a unique and contagious spirit, putting his inimitable stamp on the cultural life of the 20th century. He died in 1998.