Fage, John Donnelly 1921-2002

views updated

FAGE, John Donnelly 1921-2002

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born June 3, 1921, in Teddington, Middlesex, England; died August 6, 2002, in Machynlleth, Wales. Historian, educator, and author. Fage became well known as an historian specializing in African—especially West African—history. He first became interested in the subject while in the Royal Air Force during World War II. After returning to England and graduating from Cambridge University in 1949 with a Ph.D. in history, he moved to Ghana where he took a post as a lecturer in history at the University of Ghana in Accra. He was a professor there from 1955 to 1959 and a deputy principal from 1957 to 1959, after which he joined the faculty at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies. In 1963 he moved to the University of Birmingham, where he was a professor and later administrator. After serving as dean of the faculty of arts and as pro-vice-chancellor during the 1970s he was made vice principal in 1981. Fage did not enjoy administrative work, and he retired early to his home in Wales in 1984. Credited with helping to lead the way in making African history an important field of study in England and colonial Africa, Fage authored several important works on the subject, including An Introduction to the History of West Africa (1955; third edition, 1962), An Atlas of African History (1958; second edition, 1978), Ghana: A Historical Interpretation (1959), A History of West Africa (1969), and A History of Africa (1978; fourth edition, 2001). Just before his death, he also published the autobiography To Africa and Back.



Writers Directory, 16th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 2001.


Independent (London, England), August 20, 2002, p. 16.

Times (London, England), September 3, 2002.