Dudjom Rinpoche, Jigdral Yeshe Dorje, who passed away in 1987, came from a long line of the some of the greatest masters of Buddhism in India and Tibet. A direct descendant of Tibet's king Trison Detsen, the pearls in his succession of rebirths include the Buddha's disciple Shariputra, the Brahmin Saraha, Rongzompa, Dudjom Lingpa, and many more in between. Known as a great terton, or treasure revealer, Rinpoche was also known for his many works preserving the wider Nyingma tradition. His Collected Works in Tibetan consist of twenty-five volumes.
Once Tibetans went into exile in the 1950s, the Dalai Lama asked Dudjom Rinpoche to take the title of the head of the Nyingma School, a position that previously did not exist but was beneficial to the tradition, especially in the time of exile.
His Holiness's major work in English is his The History of the Nyingma School, which until the recent publication of The Complete Nyingma Tradition (three volumes thus far with several more on the way), was the largest work published on any school of Tibetan Buddhism. It remains an indispensable resource. A significant chunk of it has been re-translated as part of another work due out in 2019 as well.