The Armenian Bar Association joins the Armenian Nation and the Hovannisian family today in mourning the loss of one of our national giants, world-renowned Modern Armenian History and Armenian Studies pioneer, Professor Richard G. Hovannisian PhD who passed away yesterday at the age of 90.
Known for his leadership and vision in developing the field of modern Armenian Studies, he established the Modern Armenian History Chair at UCLA. His multi-decade four-volumed detailed history of the first Republic of Armenia beginning separately with his seminal work entitled “Armenia on the Road to Independence” was accompanied over decades by his pioneering efforts in writing books, leading academic and public seminars on the historic Armenian Provinces. With his passion and perseverance over decades, he dedicated himself to breathing new life into the field of Armenian Genocide studies and education and inspired generations of scholars and students. The man often referred to as the modern day Khorenatsi of Armenian History has passed to join his partner in life the late Vartiter Kotcholosian Hovannisian M.D., leaving behind a grieving family lead by our organization’s Founder Raffi K. Hovannisian, our long time ABA leader and Board Member Armen K. Hovannisian as well as his children Ani Kevorkian and Garo Hovannisian and their families and friends.
Growing up as a second-generation Armenian American child in the midst of the great depression in California’s Central Valley, he quickly immersed himself in the then forgotten history of his people choosing to dedicate his life to the illumination of that history. His family has continued that dedication to public service and the betterment of the Armenian nation.
Despite his age, Professor Hovannisian was actively lecturing around the world up until just May of this year as he continued to share with others his remarkably brilliant mind and spirit until his final breath. He will be fondly remembered and cherished by our organization and the nation he so proudly and uniquely served.
What he leaves behind is a legacy and a lesson for all of us – a call for each of us to become torchbearers for the Armenian people’s enduring history and spirit, in the hopes that maybe we can shine collectively as bright as he did.
Asdvatz hokeen lusavore mer sirelli Professoreen. Hokit anmar e. Your soul is forever bright.