Haitian Historian Gaillard Dies
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) _ Roger Gaillard, one of Haiti’s most prominent historian, has died of a heart attack, a family member said Friday. He was 77.
Gaillard died late Thursday at Port-au-Prince’s Canape Vert Hospital, said his son, Mischa Gaillard. Gaillard also had suffered from a kidney disorder.
Gaillard was an author of dozens of historical books and articles, but was famous for his multi-volume chronicle of the 1915-34 U.S. Marine occupation of Haiti. He also was a journalist and, for more than 30 years, contributed articles on Haitian history and literature to Haitian newspapers.
Gaillard was rector of the State University of Haiti for a short time after the 1986 fall of the 29-year Duvalier dictatorship. In the 1940s and 1950s, he taught French in Sophia, Bulgaria, after receiving philosophy and French degrees from the Sorbonne.
``He was sick at heart over the decadence of his country and discouraged by the way elections are turning out,″ said Mischa Gaillard, a Port-au-Prince mayoral candidate in Sunday’s local and parliamentary election.
``Our most distinguished intellectual has passed away,″ said novelist Gary Victor.
Gaillard’s last newspaper article was an homage to his friend, Ary Bordes, a prominent physician who was shot and killed by unidentified gunmen in a traffic jam May 6.
Gaillard had been scheduled to deliver an address on Saturday in Paris, at the high council of the Francophonie, an association of French-speaking countries, of which he was an active member.
In addition to his son, Gaillard is survived by his wife, Edwige, and a daughter, Gustie Pourchet.
Funeral arrangements were pending.