Donald J Munro recently passed away in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was 92 years old.
Donald J. Munro was born on March 5th, 1931. He grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. Don received a BA from Harvard University and then spent several years in the US Navy.
Don received a PhD in Philosophy from Columbia University, and spent his career as a Professor of Philosophy and Chinese at the University of Michigan. He focused on the origins of ideas of human nature in Chinese philosophical traditions. His work was unusual in his desire to expand traditional philosophical approaches through an openness to perspectives from social and natural sciences. Don was invited to be part of the academic exchanges that deepened connections between China and the West in the late 1970s and 1980s. He taught at Peking University and The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and he was appointed as a visiting scholar at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship and served on the American Council of Learned Societies. His many books and articles were highly regarded by both Chinese and Western scholars. After he retired from teaching he and Ann endowed the Tang Junyi Professorship at the University of Michigan to bridge Philosophy and Chinese Studies. He was beloved by his students and cared deeply about them. He was a model scholar, a 'master teacher' who embodied the principles and insights he sought to transmit. He formed lifelong friendships with many of his students and had a deep impact on the next generation of China scholars.
Don was endlessly curious about the world and could predictably be found stretched out on the couch reading, with a cat on his belly. He loved books about WWII, science, evolution, history, travel, nature, and beyond. He reveled in conversations about what he was reading and loved to exchange ideas with friends, colleagues and family. He traveled the world with Ann, and brought back new ideas and stories to share from across the globe.
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