Honoring the Life and Legacy of Professor Yü Ying-shih

Professor Yü Ying-shih

We are greatly saddened by the passing of Professor Yü Ying-shih, whom we came to know through his memoir, From Rural China to the Ivy League: Reminiscences of Transformations in Modern Chinese History, which was scheduled to be published this month. Professor Yü set the gold standard for humanity and scholarship.

As noted by Professor Michael S. Duke and Professor Josephine Chiu-Duke, who translated his memoir:

A leading authority in the field of Chinese Studies, Professor Ying-shih Yü received the John W. Kluge Prize for Achievement in the Study of Humanity in 2006 and the inaugural Tang Prize in Sinology in 2014. These awards represent a recognition of his contributions over six decades to the fields of Chinese history, thought, politics, and culture during which time he published over thirty books, forty-one monographs, and hundreds of articles. The awards also serve to highlight his efforts in redefining Chinese intellectual and cultural traditions, imbuing them with new life. These awards honor the way in which Professor Yü has put his intellectual convictions into practice; for example, his criticism of the violent suppression of the Tiananmen democracy movement of 1989 and his decades-long commentaries on Radio Free Asia. Over the years, his works have had great influence throughout the Chinese-language world where he has been hailed as a paradigm of Chinese humanism.

We will always be grateful to Professor Yü for his great kindness, boundless generosity, and tremendous contributions to the world. There are no words that can adequately express our sadness about his passing, and we send our deepest condolences to Professor Yü’s family.