BASEL, Switzerland (AP) – Juerg Federspiel, best known outside his native Switzerland as the author of “The Ballad of Typhoid Mary,” has died, officials said. He was 75.

Federspiel, who spent repeated periods of his life in New York, had been missing since mid-January and his body was found Sunday close to the border with France and Germany, local officials in his hometown Basel said. No cause of death was given and there were no outward signs of injury, said Klaus Mannhart, of the Basel safety department.

Born near Zurich on June 28, 1931, Federspiel worked as a journalist, film critic, essayist and fiction writer, publishing more than 20 novels and collections of stories.

His books were translated into six languages and his best-known work in the English-speaking world is “The Ballad of Typhoid Mary,” based on the true story of a woman in early 20th-century New York who refused to accept that she was the source of numerous outbreaks of typhoid fever.

Federspiel was strongly influenced in his work by the prose style of the American short story.

It was not immediately known whether Federspiel, who had been suffering from diabetes and Parkinson’s disease in recent years, left behind any family.


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