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Born in Changchow in the Fukien province of China in 1895, Dr. Lin Yutang was raised as a Christian, but soon abandoned Christianity for Taoism and Buddhism, only to rediscover Christianity later in his life.

He took his degrees in St. John's (Shanghai), Harvard, and Leipzig. He was a teacher at Tsinghua University, Beijing in 1916-1919; married and went with his wife to Harvard in 1919 where he studied Comparitive Literature under Bliss Perry and Irving Babbitt until 1920. They then moved to France, where Dr Lin worked with the YMCA for Chinese labourers at Le Creusot, 1920-1921. He studied at Jena and Leipzig (where he received his Doctorate) 1921-1923; was Professor of English at Beijing National University 1923-1926 and Dean of Women's Normal College in 1926. He was chased out of Beijing by the Dog-Meat General in 1926, blacklisted among the radical professors; became Dean of Arts in Amoy University, 1926 and then joined the Wuhan Nationalistic Government as a secretary to the Foreign Ministry at Hankow in the first half of 1927 - "liked the revolution but tired of the revolutionists". Since the Summer of 1927, he devoted himself entirely to writing. He was the editor of various literary magazines such as Lunyu, Jenchienshih and Yuchoufeng, 1929-1935 in Shanghai. Later in his life he was Head of the Arts and Letters Division of UNESCO, 1948. Dr. Lin died in 1976.