I. Detailed Biography

Biography of Richard Frye by Professor Shapur Shahbazi of Oregon State University
From the Bulletin of the Asia Institute, 1990 :

II. Brief Biography

Richard Nelson Frye : A Brief Biography

Appropriately referred to as “dean of the world’s Iranists” by other scholars, Richard
Nelson Frye of Harvard University has researched and taught the cultural history of
Iran, Central Asia and the Near East for over six decades and needs little
introduction to those familiar with the field.  His work has covered the spectrum of
Iranian studies and the history of Iran and related cultures across the centuries,
with  the relevant extant sources and documents in multiple living and extinct
languages ranging from Avestan and Old Persian to Sogdian, to present modern
Iranian languages. He has lived among the people of Iran, and the countries
possessed of Iranian culture which have become politically detached from Iran in
the vicissitudes of the past few centuries, ranging from those flanking Iran and the
Caspian Sea to Central Asia, including former southern Soviet republics, to which
he has often referred collectively as Greater Iran, or Iran of the Exterior.  

Early in his career, the editor and compiler of the monumental, encyclopedic
Persian dictionary, Dehkhoda, gave him the honorific
Irandoost, or Iranophile,
which has since adorned the doorway to his office at Harvard.   

Richard Frye was Director of the Asia Institute in Shiraz for five years, as successor
to Arthur Upham Pope, editor of Survey of Persian Art. where he lived with his
family.  In addition he has lived, taught and conducted research and studies in
Germany and other European countries, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and a number of
other Middle Eastern and Central Asian states. He is fluent in Farsi, Turkish, Arabic
and several European languages. He has lectured in Farsi in recent years in
universities in Tehran and Isfahan, advocating the separation of religion and state
and expounding the underlying historical basis for this separation from the
foundation of the Iranian state, ca. 550 BC, to the present.

He received his PhD in history and philology from Harvard in 1946, with his thesis
on Narshakhi’s
History of Bokhara.  He joined the Harvard faculty in 1948 and  later
became Agha Khan Professor of Iranian Studies.  He founded the Center for Middle
Eastern Studies (CMES) at Harvard.  His books and articles on Iranian history and
culture have endured as references on the subject.  A full bibliography entails an
article in itself, but notable among his books are Iran (1953), Persia (1968), The
Heritage of Persia (1963), The Golden Age of Persia (1975),  History of Ancient
Iran (1984), The Heritage of Central Asia (1996), Greater Iran (memoirs, 2005),
and History of Bukhara (2007).

For further information the reader may refer to the biography by another former
student, Professor Shapur Shahbazi of Oregon State University, 1990, and to the
Wikipedia article :  
Richard Nelson Frye