Robert James Young
Sandra T.W. Davis, May 2010
Researcher of English East India and Dutch East India Companies
Robert James Young (1937–2010) died on February 4, 2010, after a long and courageous battle with multiple myeloma. Young was a professor in the history department at West Chester University for 35 years, from 1965 until his retirement in 2002, while simultaneously affiliated with the South Asia Regional Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania for 20 years.
Young received his MA and PhD in history (1960 and 1970 respectively) from the University of Pennsylvania. He concentrated on Asian history with a specialization in South Asia. Throughout his career, he had numerous extended stays in India starting with an early educational support project at Osmania University in Hyderabad under the auspices of the Peace Corps (1962–64), as Senior Fulbright Researcher (1986), director of several Fulbright Group Projects, and as consultant to numerous India oriented Programs. At one time or another, he was a consultant to the Smithsonian Institution, the Asian Society of New York, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, as well as numerous school and university-based, India-oriented educational programs.
Young’s research interests were in the 18th-century economic records of the English East India and Dutch East India Companies. He conducted research in Leiden, London, and India with the support of university and Fulbright grants. His most recent article appeared in a publication of the Sorbonne in 2008.
Young was a member of the Association for Asian Studies and the American Historical Association. He was interested in horticulture and was a volunteer at the John Heinz National Wildlife Center and the Greater Philadelphia Dahlia Society.
He is survived by his brother, John; his sons, Andrew and James; his daughters, Claire Young-Anderson and Elizabeth Breece; eleven grandchildren; and his former wife, Katherine Young.
—Sandra T.W. Davis