Henry S Olcott

Colonel Henry Steel Olcott (1832-1907) was an American military officer, journalist, lawyer and the co-founder and first President of the Theosophical Society.

Olcott was the first well-known American of European ancestry to make a formal conversion to Buddhism. His subsequent actions as president of the Theosophical Society helped create a renaissance in the study of Buddhism. Olcott is considered a Buddhist modernist for his efforts in interpreting Buddhism through a Westernized lens.

Olcott was a major revivalist of Buddhism in Sri Lanka and he is still honored in Sri Lanka for these efforts. Olcott has been called by Sri Lankans[who?] "one of the heroes in the struggle of our independence and a pioneer of the present religious, national and cultural revival". (Wikipedia)

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