The emeritus publisher has been a survivor of Parkinson's disease for nearly 20 years who also survived Covid-19
Mohiuddin Ahmed, emeritus publisher and the director of The University Press Limited (UPL), has passed away. He was 77.
He breathed his last at 12:59am on Tuesday, his daughter Mahrukh Mohiuddin said on a Facebook post.
Mohiuddin's namaaz-e-janaza was held at the Gulshan Azad mosque in Dhaka after the Zuhr prayers. He was buried around 2:15 pm at Banani Graveyard, said UPL Assistant Manager Kamruzzaman.
Mahrukh, also the UPL managing director, wrote that her father has been a survivor of Parkinson's disease for nearly 20 years. He had also fought a strong battle with Covid-19 and survived.
She added: “He fiercely loved and nurtured his family and friends, and dedicated his life towards creating a just, conscientious, reading society. He has always been true to his words, and we can only aspire to be one tenth the human being that he was.”
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed profound shock at his death.
Acting Bangla Academy Director General AHM Lokman also mourned his death.
Life and career
Born in Feni’s Parashuram upazila on December 2, 1944, Mohiuddin Ahmed was a student of Notre Dame College and the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism at Dhaka University (DU).
After completing his graduation from DU, he went to Punjab University for further study on journalism with a Pakistan Council Scholarship.
At that time, he had joined a Pakistani newspaper named Pakistan Times that was established by the leftist Progressive Papers Limited, as an apprentice. Later on, he joined Punjab University as an assistant lecturer in Mass Communication and Public Relations.
In 1969, he applied to Stanford University and got selected as a PhD student, with a full scholarship.
In the meantime, he joined Oxford University Press (OUP) and was designated as the "Editor for Pakistan". He worked there until 1972.
After the 1971 Liberation War, he returned to Dhaka and served as the chief executive officer of the OUP Dhaka Branch for two years.
After that branch closed down in 1975, he got an offer to join as a roving editor of OUP at the Karachi branch but he rejected that as he did not want to work in Pakistan as a second-class citizen.
Then he decided to found UPL as a successor of OUP. That year, UPL was established where he was also the founding chief executive.
UPL was the first publishing house in Bangladesh to export books. On the other hand, books published by UPL can also be found at the libraries of Ivy League universities in the United States.
In 2012, Mohiuddin Ahmed had published Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's “The Unfinished Memoirs” from UPL and he was awarded the title of “Emeritus Publisher” by the Bangladesh Academic and Creative Publishers Association in 2014.
UPL, which published around 1,500 books until 2018, has won the National Book Centre Award 16 times since 1981.