According to the Wen Wei Po, Louis Cha, journalist, historian, educator, and the writer most well-known as Jin Yong, passed away at the Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital on the afternoon of October 30, 2018. Cha was born in Haining, Zhejiang, on February 6, 1924 .
With each of his fourteen novels inspiring dozens of adaptations, Cha is the most popular wuxia writer of all times, if not the most popular modern Chinese writer. If you have a favorite actor who acted before this decade, there’s a 90% chance they have played a Jin Yong character. Just this year, there are at least four adaptations in the works (The Return of the Condor Heroes drama and film, Dragon Saber and Heavenly Sword, and Semi-Gods and Demi-Devils) .
In addition to his fictional writing, Cha was the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Ming Po, the principal of Zhejiang University, a professor, and a historian. His quest for knowledge was so insatiable that despite already having an honorary degree from Cambridge, he became a full-time student and earned a doctorate degree in Oriental Studies at the age of 86 with a doctorate dissertation on the imperial succession in the Tang dynasty.
On a personal note, Jin Yong is the whole reason I can still read Chinese. If it weren’t for that angel who donated a complete collection of his works to the public library, I would’ve forgotten Chinese by the time the Internet existed. Jin Yong dramas were the first (and only) ones I did English subs for, and the magical world of jianghu he created continues to inspire me every day, as I’m sure they do millions of others.