Kung Te-cheng (middle) [File photo]
Kung Te-cheng, the 77th generation main-line descendant of Confucius, has died in Taiwan at 89, local media reported.
Kung died of heart and respiratory failure on Tuesday in a local hospital. He acquired pneumonia and Sepsis when he was sent to the emergency department of the hospital on Oct. 20.
Kung was born in Qufu in the eastern Shandong Province, and appointed Duke Yansheng soon after his birth in accordance with an imperial tradition dating back to 1055 of bestowing the title on the eldest male in each generation of the main line of descent.
Since 1950, he had been acting as the Sacrificial Official to Confucius, leading the annual official ceremony honoring the sage on his birthday on the island.
He was also head of Taiwan's "Examination Yuan" and a university professor.
Confucius (551 B.C.-479 B.C.) was a great thinker and educationist in ancient China, whose teachings and philosophy have deeply influenced the Chinese and east Asians.
(Xinhua News Agency October 29, 2008)