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Prof. Wilton Sankawulo is Dead at 72

Prof. Wilton Sankawulo is Dead at 72

(Feb 21, 2009) By: Abdullah Kiatamba
Prof. Wilton Sankawulo, one of Liberia’s preeminent literary giants, has died. He was 72. Family sources told The Liberian Journal (TLJ) that he died today, Saturday February 21, 2008 at 1:55 Post Meridian, at the John F. Kennedy Memorial hospital in Monrovia, Liberia. 

In an interview with TLJ, the deceased’s wife, Amelia Sankawulo, and daughters—Minnie Sankawulo-Ricks and Rose Cooper—confirmed that he died of “congested heart failure” and that “he has been hospitalized at the JFK hospital for roughly three weeks”. 

As a famed writer, Prof. Sankawulo authored many books, including—The Marriage of Wisdom, and Other Tales, The Rain and the Night, Why Nobody Knows When He Will Die, and Sundown at Dawn: A Liberia Odyssey.


   Prof. Wilton Sankawulo at The Liberian Literary Foundation Event in Detroit Michigan

As a humble national leader, he served as Chairman of the Council of State, which governed Liberia as a transitional collective presidency in the mid 90s. 

Many Liberians fondly remember Prof. Sankuwulo, both as a Liberian literary icon and a peace-loving leader. 

In a recent tribute, Mr. Ahmed Sirleaf of the Advocate for Human Rights, wrote:” Our thoughts and prayers to go to the Sankawulo family. His service to our country was immeasurable. As a scholar and writer of African thoughts and folklores, he contributed to knowledge and African literature. As a provisional Head of State, he played his part to restore peace and sanity to our troubled country…”.                          

Dr. Emmanuel Dolo, a highly regarded Liberian intellectual, could not resist the urge to pen glowing tributes to honor the contributions of Prof. Sankawulo, even as he (Dolo) lies in bed recovery from a blistering cold. 

Dr. Dolo:”If we had literary prizes indigenous to Liberia as a barometer of success, Professor Sankawulo would have won them all. He was at the cutting edge of certain genres in Liberian literature, and all of us who followed his footsteps owe him a great deal”. 

Prof. Sankawulo is survived by his wife, Amelia Sankawulo, and four precious children (Detailed family information will be released shortly). 

Mr. Rose Sankawulo-Cooper, daughter of the deceased, told TLJ that the family is scheduled to meet on Wednesday February 25, 2008 in Monrovia, “to work out detailed funeral arrangements”. 

Editor’s Note: TLJ will keep you updated on the latest developments on the home-going of Prof. Wilton Sankawulo. For further information, please contact



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