Dezhung Rinpoche is considered one of the most highly learned Tibetan lamas of his generation. He was knowledgeable in doctrine and history, and taught both extensively, most famously at the University of Washington in Seattle. Trained in pre-Communist Tibet, he moved almost constantly among monasteries to receive teachings from multiple traditions, mainly in the Sakya. His incarnation line's seat was in Litang, but trained primarily in the Jyekundo and Derge regions. Chief among his many teachers was Gaton Ngawang Lekpa. In the 1950s his niece Jamyang Dagmola married Dagchen Rinpoche and together they settled in Seattle in the early 1960s. Among his many American students were Gene Smith, David Jackson, Janet Gyatso, Elisabeth Benard, and Cyrus Stearns. After retiring from the University he taught at dharma centers across North America. At the end of his life he reestablished one of his monastic seats, Tharlam Monastery, in Bodnath, Kathmandu, where he passed away in May 1987.