Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Radu Florescu | Historian, author, 88

Radu Florescu, 88, a Romanian-born historian, professor, and philanthropist who intrigued American popular culture by writing a book linking the fictional Count Dracula to the 15th-century Romanian prince Vlad the Impaler, died Sunday in Mougins, France, from complications connected to pneumonia, his son John Florescu said Monday.

Mr. Florescu wrote a dozen books but was most famous for In Search of Dracula, which he coauthored with Raymond T. McNally in 1972. In it, he asserted that Irish author Bram Stoker based the Dracula character in his 1897 novel on Vlad the Impaler. Mr. Florescu's book was translated into 15 languages and the pair went on to write five more books on Dracula.

Mr. Florescu was the director of the East European Research Center at Boston College, which he founded, from 1986-2008, according to his son.

Upon the news of his death, Romania's royal house sent condolences Monday on behalf of former Romanian King Michael, who was forced to abdicate in 1947 by the Communist-led government. "Through his work, Professor Florescu built a bridge between Romania and the United States, giving Romanian history . . . a drop of universality," the royal house said in a statement, praising Mr. Florescu for dedicating himself to his students.

Former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy called him "a needed bridge between the United States and Romania and a wise counsel" to his father, the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, on Balkan affairs. - AP
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