When he died in 1887, in retirement in his native Princeton, New Jersey, Paul Tulane, 86, bachelor, had made an honest woman of the mistress of his fortune, the city of New Orleans. He had given his name and more than a million to Tulane University. Its first president, true southern gentleman and scholar, William Preston Johnston, was quick to repair the damage of benefactor Tulane's death intestate. Johnston interested a rich widow in the university which led to the co-ordinated Newcombe College for women. Biographer Dyer, disregarding the elements of style, brings this up-to-date with four long hundred pages of ""the fact that"" exposition; one sentence alone uses this anti-Strunkism three times. Discretion's deadly touch pulverizes some interesting material -- Huey Long's attempts to destroy Tulane's fine medical school, Oliver LaFarge's brief stay at the school of Middle American Culture, and the ""voluntary desegregation"" of the university in 1962. Throughout he has steered a middle course through facts, avoiding controversy, to produce a (general non-interest) book for alumni.