Paul R. Sweet was born in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania on March 14, 1907 and grew up in Depauw. His parents were William and Louise Sweet. He was educated at DePauw, Goettingen, the University of Chicago, and the University of Wisconsin, specializing in German History. During World War II, he went to Europe and worked with the OSS in understanding and developing interrogation techniques. He taught at Bates and Colby colleges, and spent much of his professional time expanding his published work on late seventeenth and early eighteenth century German history.
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L'Hommedieu, Chris, "Sweet, Paul oral history interview" (1999). Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection. 382.