A brilliant intellectual and prolific scholar, researcher, and author, Vahakn Dadrian is among those rare historians who himself will go down in Armenian history as a seminal figure in Genocide Studies. His passing on August 2, 2019 gives multiple generations pause to reflect on a remarkable life and career that raised the bar on public discourse on genocide in general and the Armenian Genocide in particular.
“Vahakn Dadrian is a name synonymous with credibility,” remarked AGBU President Berge Setrakian, “He commanded the respect of academicians, politicians, and students alike, and was considered a pre-eminent authority on Armenian history. His powers of analysis and clarity of thought helped bring the Armenian Genocide out of the shadows and legitimized its claim as the first genocide of the 20th century. His teachings, publications, appearances at global symposia have laid a solid foundation for new generations pursuing genocide studies. That old adage, ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’ rings never truer than in describing the impact of Vahakn Dadrian’s work in advancing the cause of the Armenian people.”
Dadrian was born in Constantinople in 1926 and studied in Europe and the United States. Though a mathematician and sociologist by way of education, it was his passion for Armenian history that led him on a journey in pursuit of truth that has been credited with numerous awards, among them: the Movses Khorenatisi Medal (1998), the John Marshall Law School 100th Anniversary Lifetime Achievement medal (2000) the Veritas Gold Medal of Harvard University (2001), the International Association of Genocide Scholars Lifetime Achievement Award (2005), the U.S. Congress Medal of Esteem for Scholarship (2005); the St. Sahag and St. Mesrob Medal and Encyclical from His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians (2005), and the President of the Republic Prize Gold Medal of Armenia (2009).
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