Utah native, Tibetan book collector dies at 74

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

A Utah native who is believed to have compiled the largest collection of Tibetan books outside of Tibet has died in New York at age 74.

The New York Times reports that E. Gene Smith died December 16 at
his Manhattan home.

The cause of death was not released.

But Jeff Wallman with the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center said Smith had diabetes and heart trouble in recent years.

Smith and a small group of friends founded the center in 1999 in New York.

It holds nearly 25,000 books dating from the 12th century, including many of the seminal texts of Tibetan Buddhism.

Smith was a scholar who became so interested in Tibetan culture that he converted to Buddhism as a young man and began acquiring the books, which are being digitized.

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