Ezra F. Vogel, 1930-2020

We note with great sadness the sudden passing of Professor Ezra Vogel on December 20, after unexpected complications from surgery. Ezra was a teacher, mentor, colleague, and friend to all of us in the Japanese studies community at Harvard and to countless others in the U.S., Japan, China, and beyond. His accomplishments earned him enormous respect as a scholar and teacher of contemporary Japanese society and of politics in China and East Asia. Despite his larger-than-life presence in so many people’s lives, he always put aside his own accomplishments to focus on the individual sitting next to him, leaning in with curiosity and animation to learn what they were thinking about and what was motivating them at the moment. His vast knowledge, his humility, his generosity, and his spirit will be greatly missed.

In the coming days we will keep you informed about plans to honor Ezra and to remember his remarkable contributions to scholarship and to our lives.


Mary C. Brinton
Reischauer Institute Professor of Sociology, Harvard University
Director, Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies