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Harry Warner Frantz, a native of Cerro Gordo, Illinois, attended Stanford University. In World War I, he joined an American Field Service volunteer ambulance section and served with the French Army on the Albanian-Serbian front in 1917. He was secretary of the American Red Cross Commission to Serbia, with assimilated rank of first lieutenant, and later captain, in the U.S. Army. He remained in the Balkans in relief and publicity activities for the ARC in 1918-19. Frantz worked for the United Press from 1920-65 (except during World War II) and was international editor of their Washington bureau from 1937-41. In 1941, he became associate director, and later director, of the press division of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs, Nelson A. Rockefeller, in the Department of Commerce. When Rockefeller became Assistant Secretary of State for the American Republic, Frantz transferred to the State Department as information officer.

Frantz returned to the United Press (later U.P.I.) foreign department in 1945 as a special correspondent, and until his retirement in 1965 he wrote frequently on Latin American affairs, both diplomatic and economic. In 1957, he received the Maria Moors Cabot Prize from Columbia University for "outstanding achievement in the advancement of international friendship in the Americas," and in 1965, the Gold Medal of the U.S. Antarctic Service, Department of Defense, for his writings about Antarctica. The National Geographic Society made him a Jane N. Smith Life Member in 1943 in recognition of his "pioneer travels by air throughout the world as a member of the first flights of American journalists." He was decorated by the French Army, and by the governments of Yugoslavia, Brasil, and Ecuador.