Joseph K. Hasek (1911-2001)

Dr. Josef K. Hašek
, a fifty year resident of the District of Columbia (1948-1998) died on January 20, 2001 at the age of 89 in his native Czech Republic after a long illness. Dr. Hašek was born on April 2, 1911 in Prague and earned a Doctorate of Jurisprudence and Economics at Charles University in Prague. As the last private Czechoslovak banker before the Communist takeover of that country, he was President of Hašek & Co. Bank, founded by his father, Frantisek Hašek. In January, 1948 Dr. Hašek was invited by the U.S. government to come to the U.S. to make recommendations as to expanding trade between the U.S. and Czechoslovakia. He was to have returned to Czechoslovakia on March 5. On February 25, the Communist coup thwarted his return and forced him to remain a political exile in the U.S. The communist government seized his bank and other properties. Dr. Hašek became a U.S. citizen and served as Vice-President of the International Bank of Washington. He later founded Combined Agencies Corporation to provide international economic consulting and to promote foreign trade.

Dr. Hašek was an untiring champion of the Czechoslovak cultural legacy in the United States. He established and served as President of the Czechoslovak-American Education Council, and was an active member of the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences, which in 1998 set up a Joseph K. Hašek Scholarship Fund in his honor.

A memorial service was held on January 29 at the Dahlgren Chapel of Georgetown University. He is survived by his daughter, Eliska Hašková Coolidge of Washington and Prague, his son, Jan Hašek of London and Prague, and by three grandchildren.