Middle East expert, frequent CNN guest Fouad Ajami dead at 68
June 24, 2014 -- Updated 0147 GMT (0947 HKT)
- Noted Middle East scholar Fouad Ajami passed away Sunday
- Ajami lost his battle with cancer at the age of 68
- Ajami is described as "a great intellect"
- Ajami was born in Lebanon and was a naturalized U.S. citizen
(CNN) -- Described as "one of the most brilliant Middle East scholars of our time," author, foreign policy expert and Stanford University fellow Fouad Ajami died Sunday from cancer at the age of 68.
In a statement from Stanford's Hoover Institution, where Ajami was the senior fellow, director John Raisian said the school "will forever miss his superb scholarship, quick wit and gentle spirit ... whose life and intellectual contributions influenced so many."
Ajami was a longtime frequent guest on CNN, who made regular appearances on "AC360" and the "Situation Room."
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper tweeted out his condolences Sunday saying he greatly admired Ajami.
"He was a great intellect and was full of grace and compassion. It's been an honor to know him," Cooper said.
"He cared deeply about world events, and all those who knew him will miss his eloquence, his compassion, and his kindness," Cooper added.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer was a student of Ajami's at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington.
"I'm so sad to learn the brilliant Mideast scholar Fouad Ajami has passed away," Blitzer wrote in a tweet Sunday. "My deepest condolences."
Ajami was a naturalized citizen who was born in southern Lebanon in 1945.
He was an American University professor and award-winning author, who wrote more than a half-dozen books on the Middle East and Arab issues.
Raisian says Ajami's writings included some 400 essays on Arab and Islamic politics.
In addition to his studies and his writings, Ajami was a contributing editor for U.S. News and World Report and a board member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Ajami is survived by his wife Michelle.
People we've lost in 2014
Part of complete coverage on
August 24, 2014 -- Updated 2308 GMT (0708 HKT)
Click through our gallery to remember those we lost this year.
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 1954 GMT (0354 HKT)
Acclaimed actor-director Richard Attenborough has died at 90, the actor's agent said.
August 24, 2014 -- Updated 2203 GMT (0603 HKT)
The founder of the University of Phoenix, Dr. John G. Sperling, has died. He was 93.
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 1554 GMT (2354 HKT)
Don Pardo, the announcer whose velvety baritone voice introduced "Saturday Night Live" hosts on NBC for decades, has died at age 96.
August 18, 2014 -- Updated 1934 GMT (0334 HKT)
Jim Jeffords, who shifted the balance of power in the Senate when he bolted from the Republican Party in 2001, died at age 80.
August 15, 2014 -- Updated 2132 GMT (0532 HKT)
Former Z-Boys skater Jay Adams died after a heart attack while vacationing in Mexico with his wife. He was 53.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 2335 GMT (0735 HKT)
Actress Arlene Martel, who "Star Trek" fans know as Spock's bride-to-be, died of complications from a heart attack. Martel was 78.
August 13, 2014 -- Updated 2048 GMT (0448 HKT)
Ed Nelson, best known for playing a doctor in the 1960s nighttime soap opera "Peyton Place," has died at 85.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 0308 GMT (1108 HKT)
Actress Lauren Bacall, known for her distinctive, husky voice and sultry sensuality, has died at age 89.
August 13, 2014 -- Updated 0219 GMT (1019 HKT)
Robin Williams, who first made America laugh and eventually touched "every element of the human spirit" in a remarkable range of performances, died at age 63.
August 13, 2014 -- Updated 2015 GMT (0415 HKT)
Charles Keating, best known for his role as villain Carl Hutchins on the NBC soap opera "Another World," has died at 72.
August 12, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
JJ Murphy, an actor who was set to join the "Game of Thrones" cast, died at age 86.
August 6, 2014 -- Updated 1919 GMT (0319 HKT)
Actress Marilyn Burn, a "scream queen" in the original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," has died at age 64.
August 5, 2014 -- Updated 1150 GMT (1950 HKT)
James Brady, former press secretary to Ronald Reagan who was severely wounded in a 1981 assassination attempt on the President, has died at age 73.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 1325 GMT (2125 HKT)
Nearly 69 years ago, Theodore "Dutch" Van Kirk navigated a U.S. B-29 Superfortress called the Enola Gay over Hiroshima, Japan, on a sunny August day.
July 29, 2014 -- Updated 2139 GMT (0539 HKT)
James Shigeta, a prolific and pioneering Asian-American actor whose 50-year career includes the movies "Die Hard" and "Flower Drum Song," has died at age 81.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT)
Actress Skye McCole Bartusiak, who played Mel Gibson's youngest daughter in "The Patriot," has died at age 21.
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1334 GMT (2134 HKT)
James Garner, the understated, wisecracking everyman actor who enjoyed multi-generational success on both the small and big screen, has died. He was 86.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 1127 GMT (1927 HKT)
Actress Elaine Stritch, known for her brash persona, gravelly voice and versatility over seven decades on Broadway, has died at age 89.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 1628 GMT (0028 HKT)
American blues guitarist and singer Johnny Winter died in a hotel room in Switzerland at age 70.
July 14, 2014 -- Updated 2159 GMT (0559 HKT)
Nadine Gordimer, the Nobel Prize-winning South African author and anti-apartheid activist, has died at age 90.
Today's five most popular stories