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Robert A. Wilson; Authority on Japanese History in U.S.

December 07, 1991

Robert Arden Wilson, who taught Japanese history at UCLA for 29 years and wrote extensively about the Japanese in the United States, has died. He was 81.

Wilson died Nov. 29 at his Los Angeles home of natural causes.

Among his articles and books was "East to America: A History of the Japanese in the U.S." published in 1980.

Wilson frequently said that documenting and writing the history of Japanese-Americans could help society learn to cope with prejudice against all ethnic groups.

Born in Des Moines, Iowa, on July 17, 1910, Wilson grew up in Gladstone, Ore., and earned his bachelor's degree from Oregon's Willamette University. He received his master's and doctorate degrees at the University of Washington.

During World War II, Wilson studied at the U. S. Navy School of Oriental Language in Boulder, Colo., and served as a naval intelligence officer with the Pacific Fleet from 1943 to 1946.

He joined the UCLA faculty in 1949.

Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Margaret Macy Wilson; a daughter, Ann Dykhouse; two sons, Lee and Bruce Wilson; four grandchildren and two great-grandsons.

Memorial services are scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Westwood Village Mortuary.

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