Prof. Kaikhosrov Irani Passes Away

New York, USA: Zoroastrian Association of Greater New York (ZAGNY) sorrowfully shared the news about the passing away of Prof. Kaikhosrov Irani (KD and Keku to associates and close friends) on 29th June, 2017 at the age of 95. Born and educated in Mumbai on 1st May, 1922, Kaikhosrov Dinshah Irani graduated from St. Xavier’s College and obtained a Law Degree before heading to the United States in 1947 with wife Piroja. He worked on the Manhattan Project at the University of Chicago, and then at the Princeton Institute of Physics, where he had the opportunity to interact frequently with Albert Einstein. So impressed was Einstein with him that he wrote a letter recommending Kaikhosrov Irani for a teaching position in Philosophy at New York’s City College, where he eventually became Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, among other prestigious appointments.

His original field of teaching and research was Philosophy of Science. In the last thirty years he worked in the area of History and Philosophy of Ancient Thought — Religious, Moral, Mythic, and Technological. He retired from teaching at the age of 90, setting a 60 years’ teaching record at City University in New York. Some of the numerous awards he was felicitated with include The City College citation for distinguished teaching (1960); Award of the Society of Indian Academics in America (1991); Award For Service To The Cause Of Zoroastrianism (from World Zoroastrian Organization, 1991); The Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America Lifetime Achievement Award (1994) and one of his greatest honours –  the establishment of ‘The K D Irani Chair of Philosophy’, at The City College, New York, through an anonymous contribution of $2,000,000, by one of his students in 1999.

Prof. Irani was a true Zoroastrian and involved himself in the life of the community, serving as President of ZAGNY (1993-95), arranging numerous seminars and conferences. He organised the first and second Gatha Conferences in the UK and Los Angeles, and the first Yasht Conference in NY. He also conducted classes for adults on Zoroastrianism, shedding light on many complex problems arising within the North American Zoroastrian community.

Condolences may be sent to his niece Zarine Weil, and Zarine’s son, Darius Weil,


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