"Although primarily a linguist, John always stressed the profound link that bound him to Egypt and Egyptians. In fact, one of the most frequently recurring ideas in his Egyptological teaching was the deep connection that he saw between ancient and modern Egypt, both in the intellectual and in the material culture. His most important publication, the one that made him at once one of the most original--and controversial--Egyptologists of our generation, is his grammar of the classical language (Middle Egyptian).... Beyond his Egyptological activity, John was first of all a very intelligent, open-minded, and sincere man. In spite of the rather arcane nature of his specific interests, he always felt the need to establish a closer contact with the broader public, and in the last years he organized a Southern California support group of the American Research Center in Egypt."