Addis Ababa – Professor Richard Pankhurst, the prominent historian and researcher on Ethiopia, was laid to rest at the Saint Trinity Cathedral today.
President Mulatu Teshome and other senior government officials as well as grieving family members and relatives of the scholar were present at the funeral.
Professor Richard Pankhurst was born in London in 1927 and earned a BSc. in Economic History and a PhD in Political Science.
He was involved with his mother, Sylvia Pankhurst, in the campaign against the fascist occupation of Ethiopia and participated with her in demonstrations, fundraising and campaigns, and assisted her with the editing of the newspaper “New Times and Ethiopian News” for over 20 years, according to a brief biography distributed at the funeral.
Professor Richard Pankhurst taught for many years at the University College of Addis Ababa, which later became Addis Ababa University, it was indicated.
He was also the founder and the first Director of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies (IES), and promoted the development of library, museum, and art gallery.
The scholar was awarded Haile Sellaise I Prize for Ethiopian Studies in 1973 and was among the founding group who campaigned for the return of the Aksum Obelisk, the biography stated.
Leaving Ethiopia in 1976, he was appointed Researcher Fellow at the London School of Economics and at the School of Oriental and African studies. He later became the Librarian of the Royal Asiatic Society.
The scholar had published over 25 books and several articles and essays.
Professor Richard Pankhurst died at the age of 90 and is survived by his wife, Rita, a son, a daughter, and four grandchildren.