Edward Hetzel Schafer, (August 23, 1913-February 9, 1991) was a leading historian of Tang Dynasty China. He wrote ground-breaking works such as The Golden Peaches of Samarkand: A study of Tang exotics (ISBN 0-520-05462-8) and The Vermilion Bird: T'ang images of the South. Schafer wrote his Ph.D. dissertation in the then entitled, Department of Oriental Languages of the University of California, Berkeley in 1947. He remained at Berkeley until his retirement in 1984. From 1969 until 1984 he held the Agassiz Professorship of Oriental Languages and Literature.
Professor Edward Schafer was a pioneer in the study of medieval Chinese civilization and was particularly well known for his work on the material culture of the Tang Dynasty. He is also known within Chinese Studies for his uncompromising belief in the importance of language skills and learning and his differing approach on this subject to John King Fairbank. His publications include over 100 scholarly articles and more than a dozen books.
Schafer died in California in 1991.