Lattimore, Owen, 1900-1989

Lattimore, Owen, 1900-1989



  • Existence: 1900 - 1989


Owen Lattimore was born on July 29, 1900 in Washington, DC. In 1901, the family moved to China. After being schooled at home by his mother, Lattimore left China at the age of twelve and attended Collège Classique Cantonal near Lausanne in Switzerland. After war broke out in 1914, he was sent to England, where he was enrolled at St Bees School (1915–1919). Lattimore returned to China to enter into a business careeer and commenced his scholarship which was regarded as the singlemost authoritative work on the tricultural area of the China-Russia region. He published his first study "The Desert Road to Turkestan" in 1928. After graduate work at Harvard and sponsorship by the Guggenheim and other foundations, Lattimore came to the US to edit "Pacific Affairs" from 1934-1941. He was called to Johns Hopkins in 1938 and the following year made director of its Walter Hines Page School of International Relations. In 1941, at the recommendation of F.D. Roosevelt, Lattimore was named American Advisor to Chiang Kai-Shek and following that the deputy directorship of Pacific Operations. In 1950, Lattimore was accused by Joseph R. McCarthy of being the "top soviet agent in the US" and brought him up on charges. However, on July 7, 1950, Lattimore was cleared of all charges by a Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee but over the next years additional charges were levied against Lattimore in connection with the Institute for Pacific Relations. It was not until 1955 that the Justice Department dropped all allegations against Lattimore. In 1963, he was recruited from Johns Hopkins University to establish the Department of Chinese Studies (now East Asian Studies) at the University of Leeds. In addition to setting up Chinese Studies, he promoted Mongolian Studies, building good relations between Leeds and Mongolia and establishing a programme in Mongolian Studies in 1968. He remained at Leeds until he retired as Emeritus Professor in 1970. Lattimore died in 1989.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Owen Lattimore papers

Identifier: MS-64
Date(s): 1930 to 1957

Owen Lattimore (1900-1989), author and scholar. The collection contains correspondence, legal documents, scholarly articles, editorials, news clippings, and photos, relating primarily to Senator Joseph McCarthy's accusation of Lattimore as being the top Soviet agent in the U.S., charges of which he was cleared.