Roger Owen

Roger Owen

May 27th, 1935 December 23rd, 2018

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Obituary for Roger Owen

OWEN, Edward R. J. “Roger” Age 83, passed away on December 22, 2018, at his home in Cambridge. Roger was born in London, and received a B.A. from Magdalen College and a D.Phil from St. Antony’s College, Oxford. Before he retired from teaching, Roger was the A.J. Meyer Professor of Middle East History at Harvard University from 1993 to 2013. Prior to that, from 1964, he taught Middle East political and economic history at Oxford University. Roger’s work helped establish the modern study of Middle East economic history. His books include The Middle East in the World Economy 1800–1914 (1981); A History of the Middle East Economies in the 20th Century (with Şevket Pamuk, 1999); State, Power and Politics in the Making of the Modern Middle East (revised version 2004); and Lord Cromer: Victorian Imperialist, Edwardian Proconsul (2004). He was awarded several honors including Doctorate in Humane Letters from the American University at Cairo and the WOCMES Award for Outstanding Contribution to Middle Eastern Studies. He was fiercely competitive and as a young man lost the cartilage in his nose playing rugby; did his National Service in the British Army in Cyprus at the time of the Suez Crisis, sparking his interest in the postcolonial Middle East; and loved singing and drinking with his friends. Loving father to Kate Owen, Ben Novotny Owen and Isabel Rahm. Devoted grandfather to Charlotte Hamilton Owen, Natalia Ward, Kadi Ward, Leonie Ward and Claire Rahm. A Memorial Service will be held in the Memorial Church of Harvard, 1 Harvard Yard, Cambridge on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the International Rescue Committee (

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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, February 19th, 2019 | 10:00am - 11:00am
    Tuesday, February 19th, 2019
    10:00am - 11:00am
  • Interment

    Cambridge Cemetery
    76 Coolidge Avenue
    Cambridge, Massachusetts
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |

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