János Bak was born in Budapest in 1929 and lived there until he left Hungary after the Hungarian uprising of 1956. He received his PhD at the University of Göttingen in Germany and after a few years moved briefly to the United and then to Canada to begin his career at UBC in 1968. His research interests included rituals of rulership in medieval Europe as well as various aspects of central European medieval history and peasant studies. UBC benefited greatly from his vast network of contacts in medieval history, which he drew on to host a variety of stimulating workshops and conferences on our campus. After he retired from UBC in 1993, he returned to Hungary and began a new career as a founding member of the Department of Medieval Studies at the Central European University in Budapest, from which he retired in 2007. He died in Budapest on June 18, 2020.
For a synopsis of his long and productive career, see the obituary by his CEU colleagues at https://www.ceu.edu/article/2020-06-19/janos-m-bak-1929-2020