Owen Lattimore had a long and fascinating life. His research and his other activities transcended those of the PIAC and his celebrity was due more to his courageous and sometimes highly provocative political stances than to his scholarly work. In the United States, to his death, he remained a highly controversial public figure. Yet, in many ways, he was a pioneer in scholarship; his massive Inner Asian Frontiers of China (first published in 1940) did much to define and to make known to a wider circle – scholarly as well as popular – the very concept of Inner Asia. This was a seminal work; half a century after its publication, it is still valid in its essential statement.
Lattimore, a splendid lecturer, a fascinating conversationalist, attended many of our meetings; in 1974 he was awarded the Indiana University Prize for Altaic Studies (PIAC Medal).
(Source: Permanent International Altaistic Conference Newsletter No. 19, February 1990, p. 3)