Sayyid Khatami

Sayyid Abulgasim Khatami

    Sayyid Abulgasim Khatami, an anthropology teacher who once worked with the famous anthropologist Margaret Mead, died at home in New York City on Jan. 13 after a brief illness.
    Born in Isfahan, Iran, Mr. Khatami was raised by his father, Sayyid Hassan Khatami, who was a religious leader, after the untimely death in a cholera outbreak of his mother, Malik. Because of a lack of birth records, his birth date could only be estimated at Nov. 6, 1918. He grew up in a house shared with a large extended family, and attended an English school, Stuart Memorial College, where he excelled at math and graduated early in order to teach there.
    He subsequently graduated from Tehran Universit, before being drafted into the Iranian Army. In the chaos that followed the British coup against the pro-German shah of Iran in 1941, Mr. Khatami briefly served as the acting police chief of Tehran before emigrating to the United States shortly after World War II.
    Mr. Khatami embarked on a journey around the world by sea, and arrived in San Francisco in 1947. He traveled to New York, where he continued studies in English and Asian cultures at Columbia University. While completing his master’s degree at the Asia Institute, he met his wife, Marie Hoguet, a fellow student. They married in 1951 and moved to Chicago, where Mr. Khatami pursued doctoral studies at the University of Chicago.
    The couple returned to New York, where Mr. Khatami became a U.S. citizen and an anthropology teacher at the American Museum of Natural History, working with Ms. Mead.
    Mr. And Mrs. Khatami raised their four children in Manhattan, with many vacations to East Hampton, where they rented houses from the 1950s through the 1990s. East Hampton was a huge part of the family’s life, according to his daughter Renee Khatami of Manhattan, who said, “He loved it out here.”
    Mr. Khatami was buried in East Hampton next to his wife, who died in 2008. He is survived by his children, Marie Norton and Renee Khatami of Manhattan, Jim Khatami of San Francisco, and Jessie K. Wallen of Del Mar, Calif., and by six grandchildren.
    His family has suggested contributions to the Explorers Club, where a memorial will be held at a later date, 46 East 70th Street, New York 10021-4971.


Daddy, You loved Georgica Beach and all the nature and beauty of Long Island in the past and in the present. Now are you with Mommy at rest where you belong. I love you and miss you. Your daughter, Jessie