Dr. Arjun Kumar Gupta passed away peacefully at his residence in Bowling Green, Ohio on Dec 25, 2022, with his wife and three daughters at his side.
Dr. Gupta was born in 1938 in the small village of Purkazi in Uttar Pradesh, India, to Amar Nath and Leelavati Gupta, in a loving home with five siblings. Stories from his childhood centered around eating mangoes from the family orchards, playing cricket, flying kites, and the pursuit of education.
After completing his undergraduate studies at Banaras Hindu University and a Master’s in Mathematics at Pune University in India, he arrived at Purdue University in 1963 to earn a PhD in Statistics. Thus began his life in America, as a professor at the University of Arizona, University of Michigan, and finally to Bowling Green State University, where his family settled in 1976. Dr Gupta’s journey, from singing the first national anthem post British occupation from the rampart walls of his hometown to the global impact of his ground-breaking research in multivariate statistics, is a story that will inspire for generations.
He is also remembered for his devotion to his family: his wife, Meera; their three daughters and three grandchildren; his siblings and extended family; and life-long friends. His love for his siblings was unwavering, and he regularly joined family gatherings in India. He was an ardent supporter of his children’s career ambitions, and adeptly advised them on topics big and small. He also sought updates on the lives of his many nieces and nephews around the world.
Most striking about Dr. Gupta was his unique balance of the heart and the head. His personal and private lives were interwoven, with an “open door, open-mind policy” in both his home and office. His research was academically rigorous, while he created a personal connection in all his encounters. Friends often recall his serious demeanor, which quickly dissolved when he surprised them with a signature joke and quiet laughter. From childhood, Dr. Gupta was unshakably committed to education, serving as a mentor to countless students and academics. He was often quoted saying, “Knowledge is power.”
As a global citizen, Dr. Gupta spoke the universal language of mathematics to communicate fluently across cultures. As indication of the respect of his peers, Dr. Gupta was invited to more than 60 countries for scientific symposiums and conferences to share his experience and cutting-edge knowledge. He was also an elected fellow of the American Statistical Association, the Institute of Statisticians, and the Royal Statistical Society of England, and received the honors of Distinguished University Professor and the Olscamp Research Award.
Dr. Gupta’s cultural grounding was demonstrated daily in his passion for Indian culture, from Bollywood to Hindu traditions, to his seamless embrace of the “American way of life” (like his love for pepperoni pizza).
A cornerstone of Dr. Gupta’s accomplishments was his work ethic, to which he credited both his personal success and the educational achievements of children. Over the span of his career, Dr. Gupta tirelessly edited and authored more than 20 books and 530 peer-reviewed publications, in addition to advising more than 30 PhD students, further cementing his professional legacy.
His life story was captured by his daughters who published his personal biography earlier in the year, as Dr. Gupta was never one to speak about himself, yet his legacy was worthy of story-telling.
Dr. Gupta is survived by his wife of 55 years, Meera; his daughters Alka (and husband Sharad Rastogi), Mita, and Nisha (and husband Patrick Nadol); his grandchildren Arhaan, Saamik, and Anika; and many nephews, nieces, grandnephews, and grandnieces.
A funeral service for Dr. Gupta will be held on Friday, December 30, 2022 at 11 a.m. at Deck-Hanneman Funeral Home, 1460 W. Wooster Street, Bowling Green.