Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Renowned historian Phan Huy Lê passed away in a hospital this afternoon (June 23) after being admitted with a heart problem last week. He was 84.
“He died at 1pm this afternoon,” Vũ Minh Giang, deputy chairman of the Việt Nam Historical Science Association, told zing .vn.
Giang said he had visited Lê every day in the hospital and saw his health deteriorate gradually.
“[But] I didn’t think he would pass away so quickly. His death is a huge loss to Vietnamese history studies.”
Lê was born in 1934 in Thạch Châu Commune, Lộc Hà District, in the central province of Hà Tĩnh.
He was chairman of the Việt Nam Historical Science Association for five successive terms between 1990 and 2015.
He won the Hồ Chí Minh Prize in Science, the nations’ highest award, in 2016.
After graduating from the History-Geography Faculty at the Hà Nội Pedagogy College, he worked as an assistant lecturer in ancient Vietnamese history at the Hà Nội General University (today’s Social Sciences and Humanity University of the Hà Nội National University).
In 1958 he became the head of the Vietnamese Middle Ages History subject.
In 1995 he founded the Eastern Studies Faculty at the Social Sciences and Humanity University.
Earlier, in 1994, he had been awarded the title of People’s Teacher, the highest honour in education.
In 1996 he became the first Vietnamese to win the Fukuoka International Culture Award given by the Japanese government.
In 2002 he was awarded the Palm Academic Award by France.
He is the author of hundreds of outstanding historical research works including “Land Policies and Agriculture during the Early Lê Dynasty”, “History of Vietnamese Feudalism”, “Lam Sơn Uprising”, “Tây Sơn Farmers’ Revolutionary Movement”, “History of Vietnamese Culture” and “History of Thăng Long – Hà Nội”.
In 2000 he won the State Prize in Science and Technology for his work “Returning to the Root”.
In 2016 his work “History of Vietnamese Culture” was awarded the Hồ Chí Minh Prize.
He was a member of various important national academic bodies like the Council Compiling Encyclopedias, Council on Policies of Science and Technology, and the National Heritage Council. — VNS