Aghjayan: Tribute to Richard Kloian

It was with tremendous shock and great sadness that I learned of the passing of Richard Kloian. While Richard and I only met a couple of times in person, hardly a week went by without us talking over the phone or exchanging emails.

Others, I am sure, will write of the specifics of his life—the cold hard facts of one’s existence. But I wish to talk more about the man, the passion and dedication he brought to our cause. People that knew Richard well can attest to the meticulousness and enthusiasm in which he approached each and every one of his numerous projects.

From transferring Armenian music recorded decades ago or publicizing long forgotten Armenian Genocide memoirs, Richard threw his complete energy into the projects. While he is perhaps best known as the director of the Armenian Genocide Resource Center and editor of “The Armenian Genocide: News Accounts from the American Press, 1915-1922,” he accomplished so much more.

I consider his greatest gift to have been to take the Armenian Genocide from our narrow self-interests to the community at large. Richard was a master networker and used those skills to help integrate the Armenian Genocide into comparative genocide studies. Few will understand the magnitude of the loss from Richard’s death because he toiled so often silently and anonymously, neither seeking the limelight nor accolades. That, more than anything else, gives you a sense of the man.

He was a friend, mentor and advisor and I shall sorely miss him.


George Aghjayan

George Aghjayan is the Director of the Armenian Historical Archives and the chair of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Central Committee of the Eastern United States. Aghjayan graduated with honors from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Actuarial Mathematics. He achieved Fellowship in the Society of Actuaries in 1996. After a career in both insurance and structured finance, Aghjayan retired in 2014 to concentrate on Armenian related research and projects. His primary area of focus is the demographics and geography of western Armenia as well as a keen interest in the hidden Armenians living there today. Other topics he has written and lectured on include Armenian genealogy and genocide denial. He is a frequent contributor to the Armenian Weekly and, and the creator and curator, a website dedicated to the preservation of Armenian culture in Western Armenia.

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