WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) mourns the loss of Dr. Hagop Martin Deranian, a long-time Assembly trustee and one of the Armenian-American community’s truly constructive and generous spirits. He was a researcher, translator, and author of several books about the Armenian Genocide. The Assembly had the great honor to work closely with Dr. Deranian on the display of the Armenian Orphan Rug at the White House Visitor’s Center as well as its companion sister rug that was owned by Dr. Deranian.
The Assembly had urged successive administrations dating back to President Bill Clinton to release the rug for an official exhibition and had worked with the Armenian Caucus to have the carpet displayed, not just at the Smithsonian, but also at the White House and in the U.S. Congress. “I am deeply moved by this action,” Dr. Deranian told the Assembly in 2013. “This issue has come to light after many years of hard work. We are speaking on behalf of the [orphan] weavers and what they would want us to do,” Deranian said.
Dr. Deranian was the driving force to release the rug and was a guest speaker for many Assembly events, discussing his book titled “President Calvin Coolidge and the Armenian Orphan Rug.” He was honored by the Armenian Assembly in December 2013 and spoke during the Assembly’s 2014 Annual Board of Trustees Meeting about community efforts to have the Coolidge Rug released and displayed. He presented the Armenian Orphan “Sister Rug” in November 2014 with Reps. Judy Chu (D-CA) and Brad Sherman (D-CA) in Los Angeles where he was presented with a Certificate of Special Recognition for his Outstanding and Invaluable Service to the Community by the Congress of the United States.
“Dr. Deranian’s important work illuminated a unique chapter in America’s history,” stated Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny. “The presentation of the Armenian Orphan Rug – hand-made by survivors of the Armenian Genocide – to President Calvin Coolidge is a testament to America’s fundamental values. The rug serves as a lasting symbol of America’s humanitarian intervention to help save a people and Armenia’s gratitude,” he added.
Passionate about his Armenian heritage, Dr. Deranian was an avid supporter of the Armenian Genocide Studies program at Clark University in his hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts, as well as the founding President of the Armenian American Dental Society. Dr. Deranian’s numerous publications included The Village of Hussenig: Memories of the Heart and Hearth (1981); Hussenig: The Origin, History, and Destruction of an Armenian Town (1994); Worcester is America: The Story of Worcester’s Armenians, The Early Years (1995); Miracle Man of the Western Front: Dr. Varaztad H. Kazanjian, Pioneer Plastic Surgeon (2007); President Calvin Coolidge & The Armenian Orphan Rug (2013, 2014); Hagop Bogigian; and Armenian American Pioneer & Philanthropist (2016).
“I am saddened to learn of Martin’s passing. We learned much from Martin who first of all was a proud Clark University alumnus. Despite his quiet demeanor, there was a driven passion within him which, when away from his dental practice, made known what happened to his mother, her village, and survivors of the Armenian Genocide,” Assembly Vice Chairman and Counselor Robert Kaloosdian said. “Martin contributed significantly to the scholarship of the Armenian Genocide through a lifetime devoted to research, translations, and authoring several books which added to the study of that subject,” he added.
Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501©(3) tax-exempt membership organization.
Photo Caption 1: Armenian Caucus Vice Co-Chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) with Dr. Martin Deranian next to the Armenian Orphan “Sister Rug.”
Photo Caption 2: Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) presenting Dr. Martin Deranian with a Certificate of Special Recognition for his Outstanding and Invaluable Service to the Community by the Congress of the United States.
Photo Caption 3 (L-R): Near East Foundation Board of Directors Chairman Shant Mardirossian, Armenian Assembly of America Board of Trustees Co-Chairs Anthony Barsamian and Van Krikorian, Dr. Martin Deranian, Assembly Board Member Lu Ann Ohanian, and Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny standing with the Armenian Orphan “Sister Rug.”