Obituary: Raphael Patai (1910-1996)
Near and Middle Eastern Studies
First memories are formative. Raphael Patai, who died on July 20, 1996, opens his autobiography with a memory of himself as an infant sliding down three flights of stairs into the street and placing himself between the two rails of the tramline, only to be saved at the last minute and carried back into the safety of his home by his mother. Whether recalled or reinforced by parental retelling, both aspects of this recollection, the spirit of independent exploration and the protective warmth of home, mark his path in life.