Charles Johnston, scholar, traveler and author, who translted many of the sacred writings of the East into English, died of heart disease yesterday at St. Luke’s Hospital. He was in his sixty-fifth year. He had
traveled in almost every country in the world.
The funeral service will be held tomorrow afternoon at 3 o’clock at the Chapel of the Comforter, 10 Horatio Street. The Rev. Dr. C. C. Clark, pastor, will officiate.
Mr. Johnston was born in Ballykilbeg, County Down, Ireland, in 1867, the son of William J. and Georgina Barbara Hay Johnston. His father had been a member of Parliament, representing Belfast. His mother was a daughter of Sir John Hay of Park, Scotland.
After preparing at the University of Dublin, Mr. Johnston studied for the Indian civil service which he entered in 1888. While in the East he visited Bombay, Madras, Calcutta and Allahabad. He was invalided
out of the service two years later.
After traveling on the European continent, he came to this country in 1896 and became a citizen in 1903. In the World War he was a captain of the Military Intelligence Division of the United States Army.
Among the Oriental writings translated by Mr. Johnston were extracts from the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. He also translated an exposition of the system of Vedanta from the German of Paul Deussen. At one time he was identified with the theosophical movement.
Mr. Johnston also translated several works of Russian writers, including “What Is Art?” by Count
Leo N. Tolstoy and “Julian the Apostate,” by Merezhkovski. In addition he was the author of “The
Memory of Past Births,” published in 1900; “Kela Bai,” written in the same year; “Ireland, Historic and
Picturesque,” and “The Parables of the Kingdom,” in 1909, and “Why the World Laughs,” in 1912. He was an editor of The Encyclopaedia Britannica when he became ill last Spring.
In later years, Mr. Johnston contributed many articles on Oriental history and literary subjects to magazines. He had written book reviews on Oriental and philosophical subjects for the book review section of The New York Times since 1917.
In 1908, Mr. Johnston was a special lecturer in political economy at the University of Wisconsin. He was a member of the American Oriental Society.
During the later years ot his life, Mr. Johnston lived at 26 Washington Square. He was a widower and is
survived by two sisters, Mrs. Samuel Brew who is now in British Columbia, and another sister in Ireland.