Humayun Ahmed Dies in Hospital

July 19, 2012

Humayun Ahmed, born on November 13, 1948 – July 19, 2012,  author, dramatist and film director, emerging in the Bengali literary world as the most popular fiction writer of the country died in Bellevue Hospital in New York on the 19th of July, 2012 at 11.30 PM BST.

After a nine-month struggle against colorectal cancer and after 12 sessions of chemotherapy, he had undergone a successful operation on June, 2012. He also had a tumor in his liver which was successfully removed. But after the operation, he became infected with an unknown virus which quickly spread through his body. Shortly after, he was transferred to ICU after losing consciousness and it was there that he was pronounced dead.


Humayun Ahmed was born in Kutubpur, in Netrokona, Bangladesh. His father, Foyzur Rahman Ahmed, a police officer and writer, was killed by Pakistani military force during the liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971. His mother is Ayesha Foyez. Humayun’s younger brother, Muhammed Zafar Iqbal, a university professor, is also a writer of mostly science fiction genre and a newspaper columnist. Another brother, Ahsan Habib, is a painter and the editor of Unmad, a cartoon magazine. Ahmed was married to Gultekin, granddaughter of Principal Ibrahim Khan, in 1973. The couple got divorced in 2003. Ahmed later married Meher Afroz Shaon.

Humayun Ahmed went to many schools in Sylhet, Comilla, Chittagong, Dinajpur and Bogra as his father lived in many place upon official assignment. He passed the School Certificate examination as a student of Bogra Zilla School. He stood second in the merit list in the Rajshahi Education Board. Later he was admitted to the Dhaka College from where he passed the Intermediate examination. He planned to study economics but suddenly changed his mind and got admitted into the Dhaka University to study Chemistry. He passed both BSc (Honours) and MSC with First Class. He joined the Dhaka University as a Lecturer in Chemistry. Later he went to the North Dakota State University in the United States to study for PhD. After having studied physical chemistry for two years he was impressed by the lecture of a professor of polymer chemistry; and eventually secured a PhD degree in polymer chemistry. He returned to Bangladesh and resumed teaching at the Dhaka University. He retired as a teacher around mid 1990s to devote all his time to writing and production of film.

His breakthrough in the literary world occurred with the publication of his first novel, Nondito Noroké in 1972. He is also a former associate professor of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Notably, as of February 2004, Mr Ahmed continued to top the best seller list of a Bangla Academy (Bangladesh) book fair, a feat that had been maintained over the previous two decades.

In 2012 Humayun Ahmed was appointed as a special advisor to the Bangladesh Mission in the United Nations.