胡適 (1891 - 1962)
Hu Shi (1891 - 1962)
Also known as Hu Shizhi; born in Jixi, Anhui province. Prominent figure in modern history of literature. In 1912 Hu Shi excelled in an examination for Boxer Indemnity Scholarship, and in the same year went to the United States to pursue his studies at Cornell University. In 1915, he transferred to the Department of Philosophy at Columbia University and later obtained his doctoral degree there. Upon his return to China, he worked as a professor in Peking University, at a mere age of 27.
What Hu Shi was most acclaimed for was his advocation for the use of vernacular writings in China. In 1927, he published A History of Vernacular Literature in China in an attempt to affirm the status of vernacular literature. In 1931, he was appointed dean of the School of Arts and head of the Department of Chinese Literature in Peking University. During the War of Resistance against Japan, he was appointed ambassador to the United States. In 1943, he was employed as honorary consultant of the Oriental section of the United States Library of Congress. In 1944, he was invited to give lectures at Harvard University. In the following year, Hu was appointed by the Nationalist government as president of Peking University. In 1957, Jiang Jieshi appointed him president of the Central Academia Sinica in Taiwan. On February 24, 1962, he died of a heart attack shortly after a dinner party given in honour of new members in the Central Academic Sinica. He was 71.