Professor Oppenheim was one of the most prominent scholars of ancient Mesopotamia (Assyriology) of his generation. Born to a Jewish family in Vienna, he fled to the USA with his wife to escape the Nazis. He joined the faculty of the University of Chicago as a research assistant in 1947, and rose to become John A. Wilson Professor of Oriental Studies. He was an editor with Erica Reiner, then editor-in-chief, of the famed multi-volume Chicago Assyrian Dictionary from 1952 until his death. His other distinguished works included Ancient Mesopotamia: Portrait of a Dead Civilization (1964) and Assyriology -- Why and How?