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Ferdinand Marie De Lesseps

canal diplomat french suez

De Lesseps, Ferdinand Marie (1805–94), French engineer and diplomat, builder of the Suez Canal. He first conceived of the project while serving as a diplomat in Egypt. He supervised its construction (1859–69) and later headed a French company formed to construct the Panama Canal. When this failed through lack of capital (1888), he was ruined mentally and financially.

See also: Suez Canal.

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