Born in Mexico City and educated there. Began to publish poems in Mexican periodicals at the age of seventeen. Sided with the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War and visited Madrid, Valencia and Andalusia in 1937. Founded two literary journals on his return to Mexico, where he remained until 1943. Lived in the USA until 1945, studying and travelling on a Guggenheim fellowship. Visited Paris in 1945 and participated in Surrealist activities. Entered the Mexican diplomatic service and resident during the next twenty years in San Francisco, New York, Paris, Tokyo, Geneva and Delhi. First visited India and Japan in 1952 and deeply impressed by the native culture in each country. Mexican Ambassador to India from 1962 to 1968, during which time he studied Oriental art and philosophy. Married in 1964. Resigned as Ambassador in protest at the Mexican government's repressive measures against students before the 1968 Olympic Games. Professor of Latin American Studies at Cambridge University in 1970; returned to Mexico in 1971. Professor of Poetry at Harvard University 1971-2. Resigned from the editorial board of the literary review he had founded on returning to Mexico in protest at government intervention. Increasingly recognized in the last decade as one of the most significant poets and prose writers in Spanish America and a frequent recipient of literary and academic honours. Resident in Mexico City.
tional fame of the Mexican poet and essayist Octavio Paz has in recent years grown to the point where he