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David Kent Wyatt Edit Profile

history professor

David Kent Wyatt, American history professor. National Endowment of the Humanities fellow, 1974-1975, Guggenheim fellow, 1984, Fulbright-Hays fellow, 1991. Member Association for Asian Studies (vice president 1992-1993, president 1993-1994), The Siam Society, Royal Asiatic Society (Malaysian branch).

Background

Wyatt, David Kent was born on September 21, 1937 in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, United States. Son of Kenneth Hall and Rebecca Westervelt (Chasteney) Wyatt.

Education

He studied philosophy at Harvard University, and received a B.A. in 1959. He furthered his studies at Boston and Cornell University, respectively, where he graduated with an M.A. in 1960 and a Ph.D. in 1966, both in history.

Career

He taught at Cornell University from 1969 to 2002, and also served as Chair of the Cornell University Department of History and as the president of the Association for Asian Studies in 1993. His book Thailand: A Short History has become the chief authority on Thai history in the English language. He was raised in Iowa.

His dissertation, which discussed political reform in Thailand, was published in 1969 as Thailand: The Politics of Reform. He learned to speak Thai fluently. Before receiving his doctorate, Wyatt accepted a teaching position at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies–where he taught until 1968.

After teaching for a year at the University of Michigan, he returned to the Cornell Department of History in 1969–the same year he served as the doctoral advisor to the late historian Benjamin Batson–and taught there until his retirement in 2002. He was the Department's Chair for a time. He was president of the Association for Asian Studies in 1993.

In October 2005, he sold his library–consisting of roughly 15,000 volumes, many of them written in Thai, including Thai royal journals–to the Southeast Asia Collection at Ohio University. Death Wyatt was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1995, but continued to travel extensively until his death. He died at the age of 69 on November 15, 2006 from complications of emphysema and congestive heart failure in the Hospicare Residence in Ithaca, New York.

Works

Membership

Member Association for Asian Studies (vice president 1992-1993, president since 1993), The Siam Society, Royal Asiatic Society (Malaysian branch).

Connections

Married Alene Frances Wilson, July 15, 1959. Children– Douglas Stewart, Andrew Richard, James Wilson.

father:
Kenneth Hall Wyatt

mother:
Rebecca Westervelt (Chasteney) Wyatt

spouse:
Alene Frances Wilson

children:
Douglas Stewart Wyatt

Andrew Richard Wyatt

James Wilson Wyatt