[KS] The passing of Kevin O'Rourke (1940-2020)

Dafna Zur dafnaz at stanford.edu
Fri Oct 23 14:01:42 EDT 2020

Dear colleagues,

It is with profound sadness that I share the news of the passing of Kevin O’Rourke.

A short notice has been published in Korean, here: https://www.columban.or.kr/?p=68647. I hope a more extensive obituary will follow.

Father O’Rourke arrived in Korea in 1964 as part of the Missionary Society of St. Columban. He was the first foreigner to get a phD in Korean literature from Yonsei University in 1984. Kevin devoted his life to what he loved best: poetry, translation, teaching, family, and friendships.

He was a magic storyteller and had a heart bigger than anyone I have ever known.

The cruelty of Covid-19 prevented us from parting with him properly. I hope that we will be able able to celebrate his life, very soon.


Dr. Dafna Zur

Associate Professor, Korean Literature and Culture, Stanford University
Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
Director of the Center for East Asian Studies

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