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1924 - 2004
from Engineering and Science, California Institute of Technology
Peter W. Fay, professor of history, emeritus, died January 18 at his home in Sierra Madre after a long illness. He was 79.
Fay, an authority on China and India, was a member of the Caltech faculty from 1955 until his retirement in 1997. He earned his bachelor’s de-gree (interrupted by service in Italy during World War II) from Harvard in 1947, attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and returned to Harvard for his PhD (1954).
Among his books were The Opium War, 1840–1842, which won several prizes following its publication in 1975, and The Forgotten Army: India’s Armed Struggle for Independence, 1942–1945 (see E&S, Spring 1994). Two years at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur in the ’60s, where he helped the humanities program, had shaped his interest in and love for Indian history.
He is survived by his wife, Mariette Robertson Fay; sons Todor, Jonathan, and Benjamin; daughters Jennifer and Lisa Fay Matthiessen; and seven grandchildren. A memorial service is planned.