Acclaimed Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko dies in Tulsa

TULSA, Okla. — Quick Facts:

  • Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko died Saturday in Tulsa
  • He taught at the University of Tulsa.
  • Watch FOX23 Cailey Dougherty's full report above.

Acclaimed Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, whose work focused on war atrocities and denounced anti-Semitism and tyrannical dictators, has died. He was 84, according to several Russian news outlets.

Roger Blais, the provost at the University of Tulsa, where Yevtushenko was a longtime faculty member, says he was told by Hillcrest Medical Center in Tulsa that Yevtushenko died Saturday morning. A spokeswoman for the eastern Oklahoma hospital confirmed his death.

TU Professor Yevgeny Yevtushenko passed away today in Tulsa. He was 84. The Russian poet, known as a revolutionary who...

Posted by The University of Tulsa on Saturday, April 1, 2017

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Yevtushenko

gained notoriety in the former Soviet Union in his

20s

with anti-Josef Stalin poetry. He gained international acclaim in 1961 with the poem, "

Babi

Yar

," an elegy to the nearly 34,000 Jews who were massacred by the Nazis in 1942 and buried in a ravine near Kiev, Ukraine.

He first came to the University of Tulsa to teach in 1992 at the invitation of then-university President Robert Donaldson, who specialized in Soviet policy during his years at Harvard.

"The Beatles read his poetry backstage. Before they were the big Beatles, in like 1962, in Hamburg they would read his poetry for inspiration." People across the world are mourning the death of poet and University of Tulsa professor Yevgeny Yevtushenko. FOX23 Cailey Dougherty explores his life on FOX23 News at 9. http://bit.ly/2nXoSMF

Posted by FOX23 News on Saturday, April 1, 2017