Waverley Root

Waverley Lewis Root (April 15, 1903, in Providence, Rhode Island – October 31, 1982 in Paris) was an American journalist and writer. Root authored the classic The Food of Italy on Italy and its regional cuisines.[1]

Waverley Root
Waverley Root headshot.jpg
Root's author photograph from The Food of Italy, 1971
Born(1903-04-15)April 15, 1903
DiedOctober 31, 1982(1982-10-31) (aged 79)
OccupationJournalist and author
Notable work
The Food of France
The Food of Italy

Early life and educationEdit

Root was born in Providence, Rhode Island, and raised in Fall River, Massachusetts. He obtained his degree from Tufts College in Medford, Mass.


Root was a news correspondent for over 30 years; in 1969 he retired from daily journalism.[2] He was the Paris correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and then The Washington Post. His books and writings focused on food, and yet mingled culinary details of the regions he wrote about with historic facts, and literary references.

After graduating from college, he moved to Greenwich Village, New York City.


Waverley Root became widely known for his writings on food, including:

  • The Food of France (1958)
  • The Cooking of Italy (1968)[3]
  • Paris Dining Guide (1969)
  • The Food of Italy (1971)
  • Eating in America: A History (1976) – with Richard De Rochemont
  • Food, an Authoritative and Visual History and Dictionary of the Foods of the World (1980)

Among his other books are the following:

  • The Truth about Wagner (1928)
  • The Secret History of the War (1946)
  • Winter Sports in Europe (1956)
  • The Paris Edition: The Autobiography of Waverley Root, 1927-1934 (1987)


At the time of his death, Root was married to Colette Root. He had a daughter, Diane Lane, from his third marriage.


Root died in his sleep at the age of 79. The cause of his death was a pulmonary ailment.[2]


  1. ^ Caravaggio review May 15, 2013 New York Times
  2. ^ a b "Waverely L. Root, 79, Journalist". New York Times. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  3. ^ The Cooking of Italy (International Edition), by Waverley Root, photographed by Fred Lyon, Time-Life International (Nederland), 1969, page 4 (bottom).