Historian Who Revealed Real Dracula Dies
Florescu linked legends to Vlad the Impaler
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2014 2:41 AM CDT
Radu Florescu speaks during a book-signing on campus at Boston College for his book "Dracula's Bloodline: A Florescu Family Saga."    (AP Photo/Lee Pellegrini, Boston College)

(Newser) – The historian who linked legends of Dracula to sadistic 15th-century Romanian ruler Vlad the Impaler has died at the age of 88. Romanian-born professor Radu Florescu, who fled his homeland on the Orient Express as World War II broke out, gained fame in the '70s with In Search of Dracula, which found that author Bram Stoker had based his fictional vampire on Vlad the Impaler, the AP reports. He went on to write five more Dracula books with co-author Raymond T. McNally.

Florescu, a noted philanthropist, founded the East European Research Center at Boston College and counseled Sen. Edward Kennedy on Balkan affairs. "No American has educated more Americans about Romania—and Dracula—than Professor Florescu. I was lucky to be one of his grateful students," says a former US ambassador to Romania. In a statement, Romania's royal house praised Florescu for building a bridge between Romania and the US and giving the country's history "a drop of universality," reports Adevarul. (In Transylvania, meanwhile, the castle that once housed Vlad the Impaler is up for sale.)

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Showing 3 of 16 comments
May 20, 2014 1:05 PM CDT
Sorry, but the first thing I thought was " he knows who real Dracula is, because its him".
May 20, 2014 12:56 PM CDT
Transylvania was on the eastern border of Europe and right next to the military forces of Islam that had ambitions to invade and conquer portions of Christian Europe. Dracula stood it the way of Islam and they used the worst of terror tactics. Dracula "fought fire with fire", yes he did some very terrible things but he did them because his enemy Islam was doing them to his people. Many consider Dracula a heroic historical figure, a defender of Christian Europe. All this "drinking of blood" and being a "vampire" is fiction to sell books and movies. Dracula was certainly no "Saint" but it is understandable that he did what he thought he had to do in large part.
May 20, 2014 9:54 AM CDT
He looks like he died years ago.