Walter Yeeling Evans-Wentz (February 2, 1878 – July 17, 1965) was an anthropologist and writer who was a pioneer in the study of Tibetan Buddhism, and in transmission of Tibetan Buddhism to the Western world.
Early life 
He received both his B.A. and M.A. from Stanford University, where he studied with William James and William Butler Yeats. He then studied Celtic mythology and folklore at Jesus College, Oxford (1907); there he added his mother's Welsh surname Evans to his name, being known henceforth as Evans-Wentz. He travelled extensively, spending time in Mexico, Europe, and the Far East. He spent the years of the First World War in Egypt. He later travelled to Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) and India, reaching Darjeeling in 1919; there he encountered Tibetan religious texts firsthand.
Evans-Wentz is best known for four texts translated from the Tibetan and published by Oxford University Press, namely The Tibetan Book of the Dead, The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation: or the Method of Realizing Nirvana through Knowing the Mind, Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines: or Seven Books of Wisdom of the Great Path, and Tibet's Great Yogi Milarepa: a Biography from the Tibetan being the Jetsun-Kabbum or Biographical History of Jetsun-Milarepa.
Evans-Wentz credited himself only as the compiler and editor of these volumes. The actual translation of the texts was performed by Tibetan Buddhists, primarily Lama Kazi Dawa-Samdup (1868–1922), a teacher of English at the Maharaja's Boys' School in Gangtok, Sikkim who had also done translations for Alexandra David-Neel and Sir John Woodroffe. Evans-Wentz's interpretations and organization of this Tibetan material is frequently unreliable, being influenced by wholly extraneous preconceptions he brought to the subject from theosophy. Nonetheless, ethnocentrism aside, he remains a pioneer central to the transmission of Buddhism to the West.
Evans-Wentz was a practitioner of the religions he studied. He became Dawa-Samdup's "disciple" (E-W's term), wore robes and ate a simple vegetarian diet. He met Ramana Maharshi in 1935, and meant to settle permanently in India, but returned to the U.S. when World War II compelled him to do so.
Later years 
Evans-Wentz died in 1965. His Tibetan Book of the Dead was read at his funeral.
Partial bibliography 
- The fairy-faith in Celtic countries, London, New York, H. Frowde, 1911. 
- The Tibetan book of the dead; or, The after-death experiences on the Bardo plane, according to Lāma Kazi Dawa-Samdup’s English rendering, with foreword by Sir John Woodroffe, London, Oxford University Press, H. Milford, 1927.
- Tibetan yoga and secret doctrines; or, Seven books of wisdom of the great path, according to the late Lāma Kazi Dawa-Samdup’s English rendering; arranged and edited with introductions and annotations to serve as a commentary, London, Oxford University Press, H. Milford, 1935.
- Tibet’s great yogī, Milarepa : a biography from the Tibetan ; being the Jetsün-Kahbum or biographical history of Jetsün-Milarepa according to the late Lāma Kazi Dawa-Samdup’s English rendering (2d ed.), edited with introd. and annotations by W. Y. Evans-Wentz, London, New York : Oxford University Press, 1951.
- The Tibetan book of the great liberation; or, The method of realizing nirvana through knowing the mind, preceded by an epitome of Padma-Sambhava’s biography and followed by Guru Phadampa Sangay’s teachings. According to English renderings by Sardar Bahädur S. W. Laden La and by the Lāmas Karma Sumdhon Paul, Lobzang Mingyur Dorje, and Kazi Dawa-Samdup. Introductions, annotations, and editing by W. Y. Evans-Wentz. With psychological commentary by C. G. Jung. London, New York, Oxford University Press, 1954.
See also 
- Sutin 2006, pg. 262
- 'Walter Evans-Wentz' in: Forbes, Andrew ; Henley, David (2013). The Illustrated Tibetan Book of the Dead. Chiang Mai: Cognoscenti Books. B00BCRLONM
- Donald S. Lopez, Jr. The Tibetan Book of the Dead: A Biography, Princeton University Press, 2011.
- Sutin 2006, pg. 263
- Sutin 2006, pg. 267
- Stanford Evans-Wentz Lectureship
- Available online online and downloadable at archive.org.
- Archives Hub: Papers of W. Y. Evans-Wentz
- Lopez, Donald S. (1998) Prisoners of Shangri-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998.
- McGuire, William (2003) "Jung, Evans-Wentz and various other gurus", in: Journal of Analytical Psychology; 48 (4), 433–445. doi:10.1111/1465-5922.00406
- Sutin, Lawrence (2006) All is Change: the two-thousand-year journey of Buddhism to the West Little, Brown and Co. ISBN 0-316-74156-6
- Online Archive of California: Guide to the W. Y. (Walter Yeeling) Evans-Wentz Buddhism and eastern religions collection, ca. 1600-1922
- Walter Yeeling Evans-Wentz Papers, 1894-1961(5 linear ft.) are housed in the Department of Special Collections and University Archives at Stanford University Libraries
Also W.Y.Evans-Wentz papers (English) are housed at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, see http://archiveshub.ac.uk/features/wyew.html Evans-Wentz's Tibetan manuscripts are in the Bodleian Oriental Special Collections of manuscripts, see the Tibetan catalogue http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/95715/JESD-Tibetan-mss-catalogue-optimized.pdf which is searchable (search for "Evans-Wentz").