25 November 2018

In Memoriam – Dr. James H. Billington

The Fulbright Finland Foundation notes with sadness the passing of Dr. James H. Billington.
Dr. Billington, the librarian of U.S. Congress for nearly three decades and distinguished alum of the Fulbright Finland Foundation, died in Washington DC last Tuesday at the age of 89.

A renowned authority on Russian and Soviet history, Dr. Billington authored several books on the topic. As a Fulbright Scholar in Finland from 1960-1961, Dr. Billington conducted the research that lead to his most important single scholarly work “The Icon and the Axe: An Interpretive History of Russian Culture”.

The time as a Fulbright scholar in Finland made a lasting impression on Dr. Billington. He later noted that both for him and his family, “it was one of the happiest and most productive times of our lives”. In 2008, Dr. Billington wrote about his Fulbright experience in Finland in the Fulbright Finland News magazine and he titled his column “Treasured Memories”.

“Dr. Billington was a great friend of Finland”, says Fulbright Finland Foundation CEO Terhi Mölsä. “We extend our condolences to the Billington family. His loss is felt by us all.”