Fazlur Rahman Khan (Bengali: ফজলুর রহমান খান Fozlur Rôhman Khan) (April 3, 1929 – March 27, 1982), born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, was a Bangladeshi-American architect and structural engineer. He did the structural engineering of the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) and John Hancock Center. He is a central figure behind the “Second Chicago School” of architecture, and is regarded as the “father of tubular design for high-rises”. Khan, “more than any other individual, ushered in a renaissance in skyscraper construction during the second half of the twentieth century.”
Fazlur Rahman Khan is from the village of Bhandarikandi in Shibchar Upazila, Madaripur District, Dhaka Division. He was born on 3 April 1929, in Dhaka. His father, Khan Bahadur Abdur Rahman Khan, BES was ADPI of Bengal and after retirement served as Principal of Jagannath College, Dhaka.
Khan completed his undergraduate coursework at the Presidency College, Bengal Engineering College, University of Calcutta (Now Bengal Engineering & Science University, Shibpur). He received his bachelor’s degree from the Engineering Faculty of University of Dhaka (Now BUET) in 1951 while placing first in his class. A Fulbright Scholarship and a Pakistani government scholarship (as Bangladesh was East Pakistan then) enabled him to travel to the United States in 1952 where he pursued advanced studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In three years Khan earned two Master’s degrees — one in structural engineering and one in theoretical and applied mechanics — and a PhD in structural engineering.
In 1955, employed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, he began working in Chicago, Illinois. During the 1960s and 1970s, he became noted for his designs for Chicago’s 100-story John Hancock Center and 110-story Sears Tower, the tallest building in the world in its time and still the tallest in the United States since its completion in 1974. He is also responsible for designing notable buildings in Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia.
Fazlur Khan’s personal papers, the majority of which were found in his office at the time of his death, are held by the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries at the Art Institute of Chicago. The Fazlur Kahn Collection includes manuscripts, sketches, audio cassette tapes, slides and other materials regarding his work.