John died Nov. 30, 2022, in Baltimore, Md.
Born Sept. 6, 1928, in Fort Smith, Ark., John spent two years touring Japan and Korea as a member of the Army’s Special Services entertainment division.
He graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1953. The Egyptian revolution of 1952 convinced him that new winds were blowing in the Middle East and inspired him to work toward an understanding of the newly vibrant Arab world.
John spent 1954 in Egypt as a Fulbright scholar before entering Princeton, earning a Ph.D. in Oriental languages and literature in 1958. He served as assistant director of the newly formed American Research Center in Egypt.
He taught at the Islamic Institute at McGill before returning to Egypt as the director of the Center for Arabic Studies at the American University in Cairo. John simultaneously held a tenured position at the University of Texas, Austin, before becoming the William R. Kenan Distinguished Professor in the Humanities and Religion at William & Mary. John’s numerous publications include The Word of Islam, Themes of Islamic Civilization, and Roman Catholics and Shi‘i Muslims.
John is survived by his wife Caroline; daughters Emily, Hilary, and Felicity; and four grandchildren.
Graduate alumni memorials are prepared by the APGA.