Gary Y. Okihiro, considered “a leading scholar in Asian American and ethnic studies,” passed away on May 20 in New Haven, Conn., Duke University Press said in a statement. He was 79.

“Okihiro was visiting professor of American studies and ethnicity, race and migration at Yale University, where he taught a popular class on Third World studies, and professor emeritus of international and public affairs at Columbia University,” the statement said.

He received his Ph.D. in African history from the University of California, Los Angeles, and also taught at Humboldt State, Santa Clara University and Cornell University.

According to his biography on Yale University’s Website, Okihiro is the author of 12 books, including his latest, “Third World Studies: Theorizing Liberation” (2016). He also authored “Margins and Mainstreams: Asians in American History and Culture” (1994), which was reprinted in 2014. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Studies Association and the Association for Asian American Studies, and received an honorary doctorate from the University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa.

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