Babajan Gafurovich Gafurov (1908-1977) - eminent scholar statesman, leading Soviet Tajik scholar, member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and Tajik SSR and several foreign scientific and cultural societies. Gafurov began his career as a journalist in Tajikistan after completing his higher education in Moscow. He became Propaganda and Agitation Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Tajikistan in 1941 and was elevated to the position of First Secretary in 1946. He continued to hold this office until 1956 when he was appointed Director of the USSR Academy of Sciences Institute of Oriental Studies in Moscow following the 20th Party Congress of the CPSU. His tenure as Director of this prestigious Soviet Institute lasted till his death in Dushanbe in 1977.
Inspite of his pre-occupation with higher politics, Gafurov continued his active interest in historical research. In 1941 he was awarded a Ph.D. degree by the Moscow Institute of History on the topic "History of the Ismaili Sect from the beginning of the 19th century to the First World War". Gafurov got his D.Sc. degree on his work "A Short History of the Tajik People" in 1947. Gafurov was a member of the board of editors for the five volume collective work "History of the Tajik People" published in 1963-1965. Gafurov was member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1952 to 1961 and an elected deputy of the USSR Supreme Soviet from 1946 to 1970. He was decorated with the "Order of Lenin" four times. The Republic of Tajikistan posthumously awarded him the highest honour of "Hero of Tajikistan" in the post-Soviet period. A city in the Republic is named after him.