ITHACA, N.Y. -- Harry Warner Frantz, for 44 years an editor and foreign correspondent for United Press International and its predecessor, United Press, died Monday. He was 90.
Frantz had covered international news since 1915, when he left Stanford University to travel in Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines and along the coast of China. At that time he was a special correspondent for several New York newspapers and magazines.
Previously, he had worked on newspapers in the United States, the territory of Hawaii, Canada and Mexico as an itinerant printer and supported himself in college as a Linotype operator for the Stanford University Press.
During World War I, he joined the American Field Service volunteer ambulance section and served with the French Army on the Albanian-Serbian front. Later he became secretary of the American Red Cross Commission to Serbia.
Frantz joined the United Press, now UPI, in New York in 1920. Two years later he was transferred to Washington to report news of special interest to Latin American countries and was the first reporter to undertake this specialty in Washington.
His reporting extended to many other countries, particularly Japan, the Philippine Islands, Spain, Portugal and Scandinavia. He covered Washington embassies and legations, the congressional foreign affairs committees, the Pan American Union and the State Department until the approach of U.S. involvement in World War II.
Frantz was on leave of absence from United Press during the war as director of the press division, Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs, headed by Nelson Rockefeller.
This association developed into a lifetime friendship, and when Rockefeller became assistant Secretary of State for the American Republics, Frantz transferred to the State Department as information officer. In that capacity he attended the U.N. formation meeting in San Francisco with Rockefeller in 1945.
He also served as an information consultant at the Chapultepec Conference in Mexico City.
After the war, he returned to United Press as special writer for its foreign service, with particular attention to Latin American events. Besides diplomatic news, he wrote frequently on economic and scientific topics. He reported the International Geophysical Year, 1957-58, and the 12-nation Conference on Antarctica in 1959.
During his years with the news service, Frantz also covered many important assignments outside of Washington. Among those were President-elect Herbert Hoover's goodwill trip to Central and South American in 1928, the Dominican Revolution in 1930, the Havana Conference of Foreign Ministers in 1940, and the Costa Rica-Nicaragua frontier tension in 1948.
In 1925, when a border dispute between Chile and Peru threatened to turn into a full-fledged war, Frantzdeparted with the official U.S. delegation which was to administer a plebescite to cover a story which eventually kept him in South America a full year.
At one point, because of the needs of some South American papers, Frantz filed a 40,000-word report that took all of one evening and part of the following morning to transmit on the wires.
For volume and detail required, there have been few, if any, comparable assignments in UPI history. Frantz received compliments from both Peruvian and Chilean papers.
He was a member of the Antarctican Society of Washington and the American Geophysical Union.
In 1957, Frantz was awarded a Maria Moors Cabot Gold Medal for Journalism by Columbia University. He also held a life membership in the National Geographical Society, awarded for his reporting of several early transocenic flights.
He retired from UPI as a senior international writer in Washington in 1964, but continued to contribute special articles.
His colleagues at UPI presented him a watch and a scroll, signed by Mims Thomason, then president and general manager of UPI, at a special testimonial luncheon at the National Press Club 11 days before his retirement.
In 1924 Frantz married Kathleen Hargrave, founding Librarian of the National Geographic Society. She died in 1973. Later that year he married Sarah Anderson Robinson of Ithaca, who survives. He is also survived by a daughter, Mrs. Jean Frantz Blackall and a grandson, Roger N. Blackall.
The funeral will be private. Memorial donations may be made to the Challenge Industries or to the first Congregational Church of Ithaca.