Business Law Professor Ray August, 60, died unexpectedly Monday morning in Pullman due to a congenital cardiac event.

On the Washington State University faculty since 1980, he was an academic innovator, a renowned researcher and publisher, and an expert on cyber law. His research interests were in the areas of international and comparative law, intellectual property law, and legal history. He was a leader in adopting technology and applying it to his teaching, and created courses featuring animated lectures that students watched on the Internet.

August had just celebrated his birthday on Saturday.

August received his B.S. in chemistry and master’s in history from New Mexico State University, and his J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. He later earned his Ph.D. in history at the University of Idaho, and his LL.M. in advanced law at Cambridge University.

He received numerous teaching honors and awards during his 24 years at WSU, including the Shell Petroleum Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence (1982, 1985 and 1989); WSU Outstanding Faculty of the Year (1985); U.S. West Outstanding Faculty Award (1990); and, the College of Business and Economics Outstanding Teaching Award (1994).  He was recognized by the CBE this spring with an Outstanding Faculty Award for Service, and is credited with having written the new college-wide diversity guidelines.

August authored two textbooks, International Business Law and Public International Law, both published by Prentice Hall, and co-authored Cyberlaw, published by West. He also wrote numerous other books and journal articles. His article on the number of attorneys in the world, “The Mythical Kingdom of Lawyers,” has been widely cited.

A memorial service for August is currently being scheduled.