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Todorov, Nikolai (Todorov) 1921-2003

TODOROV, Nikolai (Todorov) 1921-2003


See index for CA sketch: Born June 21 (one source says June 6), 1921, in Varna, Bulgaria; died August 27, 2003. Historian, politician, educator, and author. Todorov was a former director of the Institute for Balkan Studies who was also active as a local politician and international diplomat. Originally taking a degree in medicine from Sofia University in 1947, his allegiance to Marxist principles led him to complete a history degree at the Kliment Ohrid University in 1951, and a doctorate in that subject from the Institute of Slavonic and Balkan Studies in 1972. Todorov's early academic career involved teaching at Sofia State University, where he was a reader in Balkan history from 1957 to 1970. After that he was director of the Institute of Foreign Policy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a year. This was followed by several years as director of the United Center for Research and Training in History. Todorov earned a reputation as an outstanding scholar and was consequently made a senior researcher at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences' Institute of History, and in 1964 he was named director of the Institute for Balkan Studies. As director from 1964 to 1989, Todorov made the institute an internationally recognized center of study, and from 1982 to 1989 he also served as vice president of the Academy of Sciences. A believer in the Communist Party, he was elected to the party's central committee in 1981 and 1986, though he never held a high office in Bulgaria's political system. He also became involved in international diplomacy, and his fluency in Greek made him a logical choice to be Bulgaria's ambassador to Greece in 1979. Other involvements in international organizations included serving as member of UNESCO's executive council in the early 1970s, and vice president of its International Commission on the History of Civilization in the 1980s. He was also president of UNESCO's general conference from 1985 to 1987. After the fall of the communist government in Bulgaria in 1989, Todorov still managed to be involved in politics and was chair of the Constituent Assembly of Bulgaria from 1990 to 1991. Despite his political and diplomatic work, Todorov is often best remembered as an historian, publishing several respected books, including The Balkan City, 1400-1900 (1975), and Sindomi istoria tis Voulgarias (1983; "Short History of Bulgaria"); he was also the author of The Ambassador as Historian: Bulgarian-Greek Relations during the Eighties (1996). In recognition for his contributions to history he was made a member of the Soviet Academy of Sciences and in 1985 earned the Palmes Academiques, among other honors.



Herald (Glasgow, Scotland), August 30, 2003, p. 18.

Times (London, England), October 2, 2003.

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