Hamilton Alexander Rosskeen Gibb, the distinguished Arablst and Islamist, was born on January 2, 1895, and died on October 22, 1971. He married Helen Stark, who died in 1969, and is survived by one son and one daughter. He was educated in Edinburgh and London Universities, became Professor of Arabic, London University (1930-37) , Laudian Professor of Arabic, Oxford University (1937- 55), and University Professor, Jewett Professor of Arabic, and Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard Univer- sity (1955-64). He became a Fellow of, the British Academy in 1944, was knighted in 1954, and was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Arabic Academy of Cairo, and the Arabic Academy of Damascus. He held honorary doctorates from the University of Edinburgh and the University of Algiers.
Professor Gibb’s publications include Arabic Literature, Mohammedanism, Modern Trends in Islam, Islamic Society and the West (two volumes, with H. Bowen), Studies on the Civilization of Islam, and Travels of Ibn Battuta (volumes I and II published, volume III in the press), as well as numerous essays and encyclopedia articles. His work was universally recognized for its uniform excellence, pithiness, soberness, and penetration. Professor Gibb was noted for his lifelong and devoted service to the cause of Oriental scholarship in the West. He took a leading part in all the important national and international organizations that sought to promote these studies. And he was particularly devoted to his students to whom he communicated his appreciation of scholarly excellence and sensitivity of interpretation, and for whose personal and scholarly well-being he labored tirelessly and with signal success. (Source: Muhsin Mahdi)
Bibliography: a selection
– Mohammedanism. An historical survey..., 2nd ed., Oxford University press, 1964.