ronald takaki's death was suicide

On Wednesday, we heard the sad news about the Ronald Takaki's passing. There weren't any initial details given about the cause of his death -- just that he died in his home on Tuesday. But his family has revealed that Professor Takaki committed suicide: Ronald T. Takaki dies at 70; pioneer in the field of ethnic studies.

A prolific and sometimes controversial scholar, he had struggled for nearly 20 years with multiple sclerosis, a potentially debilitating neurological disease for which there is no cure. According to his son, he couldn't deal with it anymore, and took his own life.

This is devastating. Takaki was a profoundly influential activist, thinker and educator that left an indelible impact on a generation of students and researchers everywhere -- both Asian American and otherwise. I can't imagine the kind of suffering he was in, but it's just tragic that we have to lose such important community scholar this way.

A memorial service is planned at UC Berkeley at a later date. The family requests that any memorial donations be sent to the Asian Law Caucus, 55 Columbus Ave., San Francisco, CA 94111.

angry archive