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A. D. Foote was born in Toxteth and educated in Manchester from 1938 and at Balliol College, Oxford, from 1949 where he read Classics and English.
Foote suffered from schizophrenia from the age of 26. After he recovered from an illness he spent some years as Warden of the International Voluntary Service Centre in London. To get a quieter job he worked at the National Central Library in Malet Place till 1965.
In 1969 he moved to Dundee where his family stayed; he had to spend the first 5 years in hospital. There, he edited a quarterly magazine for the patients which ran up to 22 issues.
A. D. Foote has been writing poetry and short stories as a vocation, and from 1985 earning income as a translator. He speaks Finnish, Polish, Hungarian, Cornish, Arabic, Ido and Interlingua.