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It is with great sadness that we report the death of Professor David O. Morgan this week. Professor Morgan was an expert in the field of Mongol studies and also a good friend to the Royal Asiatic Society, serving as editor of its Journal. He was born in 1945 and educated at Rugby School. He graduated from Oxford and gained his doctorate from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). He taught at SOAS for twenty years, before moving to the University of Wisconsin where he remained until retirement in 2010, but continued serving there as Professor Emeritus until 2013, when he returned to live in England.

Professor Morgan was known as both an excellent teacher but also an erudite author. His book, The Mongols, remains the standard text even though it was published in 1986, with further expansion of the work in 2007. In 2016, the Royal Asiatic Society celebrated his achievements with the publication of a festschrift within its Journal. Entitled, The Mongols and Post-Mongol Asia: Studies in Honour of David O. Morgan, the winter and spring issues were combined to produce an extended festschrift to honour Professor Morgan and to acknowledge his immeasurable contribution to Mongol Studies. The volume consisted of articles from twenty-nine eminent scholars, who wrote on topics connected with the Mongols and their impact on communities and cultures in places as far apart as Syria and China.

The Society, as are so many of his past students, is very grateful for all the help that he has given. He is remembered for his kindness and genial disposition as well as his unique contribution to the field of Mongol studies. We offer our condolences to his family at this time.

David Morgan JRA


Professor Morgan (right) with RAS Director, Dr Alison Ohta, and the then RAS President, Dr Gordon Johnson, at the cake cutting ceremony for his festschrift publication.