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George Abraham Makdisi was born in Detroit, Michigan, on May 15, 1920. He died in Media, Pennsylvania, on September 6, 2002. He was a professor of oriental studies. He studied first in the United States, and later in Lebanon. He then graduated in 1964 in France from the Paris-Sorbonne University.
He taught in the University of Michigan and Harvard University before reaching the University of Pennsylvania in 1973, as a professor of "Arabic." Here he remained until his retirement in 1990, when he held the post of director of the Department of Oriental Studies. He became a Professor Emeritus of "Arab and Islamic Studies" in the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
He was particularly interested in issues around higher education in the world.
He was a member and honorary member of numerous professional scientific organizations. Among other honors, he was twice a Guggenheim fellow. In 1977, he served as the President of the Middle East Studies Association of North America, now based in Tucson, Arizona, United States.
- The Rise of Colleges, 1981
- The Rise of Humanism, 1990
- Paths to the Middle East Ten ScholarsLook Back 1993