Romanian historian Radu Florescu, author of 'In Search of Dracula', dies in France
Romanian-born American historian Radu Florescu – whose first book In Search of Dracula became a best-seller – has died age 88 in France. He was the father of four, including Radu Florescu, the CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi in Romania, and of John M. Florescu, the chief executive officer of Centrade.
Son of a UK ambassador, Florescu left Romania before World War II and studied at Oxford University before moving to the United States and continuing his education.
After gaining a PHD in history with a thesis titled ''The Struggle against Russia in the Romanian Principalities'', Florescu became a Professor Emeritus of Boston College and the founder and director of the East European Research Center of the Boston College between 1986-2008.
He also arranged scholarships for Romanian students to study in the Boston area and was named an Honorary Consul in Boston by the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1996.
His research and papers spanned a number of topics. However it was his collaboration with Raymond T. McNally, about Romanian medieval king Vlad Tepes, exploring the connection between the Dracula myth and the historical Romanian prince, which brought the most commercial success.
''In Search of Dracula: A True History of Dracula and Vampire Legends'' was published in 1972 by New York Graphic Society and later on republished by Little, Brown and co. It was translated in 15 languages and was a source of inspiration for six documentaries made in different countries. It also largely inspired the first wave of vampire tourists to visit Romania.
His second novel titled ''Dracula — Prince of Many Faces; His Life and His Times'', published in 1989, was also highly successful.
He died on May 18, 2014 in Mougins, France following pulmonary complications. He is survived by his wife Nicole, their four children and 13 grandchildren.
Shaun Turton [email protected]