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Dr. Ping-ti Ho was born in Tientsin, China, and completed his undergraduate degree at Tsinghua University before moving to the United States and completing his Doctorate at Columbia University in 1952. Although he began studying European history, he eventually shifted to the study of Imperial and ancient China. He began teaching at the University of British Columbia in 1948. He moved to the University of Chicago in 1963. Dr. Ping-ti Ho was one of the foundational members of the department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia and along with Dr. Ronald Dore, was instrumental in establishing the collection of asian materials at the University of British Columbia library. He was the first scholar of Asian descent to hold the position of of President of the Department of Asian Studies at the University of Chicago. He received several honorary doctorates during the course of his career.