Renowned scholar Ji Xianli (Chinese: 季羡林) (1911-2009) was born in Linqing, Shandong Province, on August 6, 1911. He mastered 12 foreign languages and was most famous for his academic accomplishment in Eastern studies.
In 1935, Ji went to Germany as an exchange student to study ancient languages including Sanskrit, Pali and Tocharian. He received a doctoral degree six years later. In 1946, Ji returned to China and became a professor at Peking University. Later, he founded the Department of Eastern Languages and served as its dean. In 1956, he was elected commissioner of the Department of Social Sciences at the Chinese Academy of Science.
Ji was a prolific translator and writer. His works consist of 30 volumes, including articles on ancient Indian languages, Sino-Indian cultural relations, Buddhism, comparative and folk literature, essays and translations of literary works.
Ji Xianli passed away in Beijing on July 11, 2009. He was 97 years old.