Paul Frederic Bowles was an American expatriate composer, author, and translator. He became associated with Tangier, Morocco, where he settled in 1947 and lived for 52 years to the end of his life.
Following a cultured middle-class upbringing in New York City, during which he displayed a talent for music and writing, Bowles pursued his education at the University of Virginia before making several trips to Paris in the 1930s. He studied music with Aaron Copland, and in New York wrote music for theatrical productions, as well as other compositions. He achieved critical and popular success with his first novel The Sheltering Sky, set in what was known as French North Africa, which he had visited in 1931.
In 1947 Bowles settled in Tangier, Morocco, and his wife Jane Bowles followed in 1948. Except for winters spent in Sri Lanka during the early 1950s, Tangier was Bowles' home for the remainder of his life. He came to symbolize American expatriates in the city.
Paul Bowles died in 1999 at the age of 88. His ashes are buried near family graves in Lakemont Cemetery in upstate New York.