Lead: Born in the heady days of Napoleon's Empire Ferdinand, Vicomte de Lesseps was for many the symbol of French ingenuity and enterprise.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: de Lesseps hailed from a family with a history of long and distinguished government service, mostly diplomatic, and after education in Paris and military service he was posted as minor representative to Portugal in 1825. Lesseps was no faceless bureaucrat. Throughout his life he made strong and lasting positive impressions and numerous friends because of his personality and character. He was gifted, passionate, loved books, music, horses, his work, and his seventeen children by two wives.

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