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Who's been here - Our heritage

Leeds medical pioneer Lord Berkeley Moynihan

Which prominent people studied or worked at Leeds?

Lascelles Abercrombie


Poet, literary critic; staff, Professor of English Literature, 1923-29


McNeill Alexander CBE, FRS


Expert on mechanics of human and animal movement; staff, Professor of Zoology, 1969-1999; Emeritus Professor, 1999-2016


William Astbury FRS


Pioneer of molecular biology; founder of X-ray diffraction of biological macromolecules; staff, Lecturer in Textile Physics 1928-37; Reader in Textile Physics 1937-1946; Professor of Biomolecular Physics 1946-1961


Caroline Baylies


Development Studies pioneer; activist in fields of health and sociology in developing countries; staff 1980-1999


Quentin Bell FRSA FRSL


Artist; art critic; author; chronicler, Bloomsbury Group; sculptor, 'The Dreamer', commissioned by University of Leeds; staff, Professor of Fine Art 1962-67


Reinhold Benesch

Chemistry 1941, MSc 1945

Pioneer in haemoglobin research


Robert Blackburn OBE FRA


Pioneer of aviation; founder, Blackburn Aircraft


Sir Edward Boyle CH


Minister for Education under Prime Minister Macmillan; Vice-Chancellor 1969-1980


Sir William Henry Bragg OM CBE FRS

Honorary DSc 1919

Physicist; mathematician; chemist; inventor, X-ray spectrometer; discovered X-ray crystallography and shared Nobel Prize in Physics; namesake of Braggite mineral, Cavendish Professor of Physics 1909-15


Arthur Brown FBA


Pioneer of modern applied economics; staff, Professor of Economics 1947-79


Emeritus Professor Anne Chamberlain

Honorary DSc 2017

Co-Director, Overseas Partnering and Training Initiative; former President British Society of Rehabilitation Medicine, UK Society for Research in Rehabilitation, and European Academy of Rehabilitation Medicine; Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine 1998-2007


Dugald Clerk KBE FRS


Designed the world's first successful two-stroke engine, Professor of Economics 1947-79


Thomas Cowling FRS


Astrophysicist; winner, Hughes Medal 1990; staff, Applied Mathematics 1948-70


David Crighton CBE FRS


Applied mathematician; staff, Mathematics 1974-85


Lord (Fred) Dainton FRS

Honorary DSc 1973

Distinguished chemist; staff, Professor of Physical Chemistry, 1950-65; Vice-Chancellor, Nottingham University; Chancellor, Sheffield University


Emeritus Professor Delia Davin

Chinese Studies 1968

Chinese women's studies expert; President, British Association for Chinese Studies 1993–1994; Member, China Panel of the British Academy; staff, Head of Department of East Asian Studies 1997-2001


Lt-Col. Bonamy Dobrée OBE


Critic; biographer; general editor, 'The Oxford History of English Literature'; staff, English 1936-55


Inga-Stina Ewbank


Ibsen scholar; author; translator; Member, Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters; Chair, Department of English 1988-1991


Denys Fisher


Innventor of the children's game Spirograph. Electrical Engineering, 1936-1939


Peter Geach FBA


Philosopher; winner, Papal medal Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice 1999; staff, Philosophy, 1966-81


Geoffrey Giles FRCS


Established Leeds liver transplant programme, Professor of Surgery 1965-92


Sir Lawrence Gowing CBE


Artist; curator; historian; staff, Professor of Fine Art 1967-75


Gilbert Gray QC

LLB Law 1952

Eminent barrister; oversaw high-profile trials, including defense of 'Black Panther' Donald Nielsen


Rabbi Leslie Hardman MBE

MA Hebrew 1940

Rabbi; Army chaplain in liberation of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, 1945


Sir Edmund Happold

Civil Engineering 1957

Structural and civil engineer; Senior Partner, Buro Happold


John Heath-Stubbs OBE, FRSL


Poet; Gregory Fellow of Poetry 1952-1955


Richard Hoggart

English 1939

Sociologist; academic; author of 'The Uses of Literacy'


Margaret Storm Jameson

English 1912, MA 1914,
Honorary DLitt 1943

Novelist; poet; essayist; biographer


Maurice Keyworth

Colour Chemistry 1922,
MSc 1923

Textile manufacturer; namesake of Keyworth Institute and Maurice Keyworth building


Professor A.M. Khusro

Economic and Political Science 1949,

PhD Economics 1952, LLD Hon 1984

Teacher, researcher, government advisor


Bernat Klein

Textile Industries 1948  

Textile designer and painter; founder of Bernat Klein Ltd


Owen Lattimore

Honorary DLitt 1984

Pioneer of Mongolian and Chinese studies; staff, Professor of Chinese Studies, 1963-70


Dame Kathleen Lonsdale FRS

Honorary LLD 1967 

Crystallographer; first woman elected to the Royal Society; staff, Biology 1927-30


Brian MacArthur (English 1961)


Founder editor of former national newspaper Today and the Times Higher Education Supplement.


Dr Rosemary MacDonald


Dean of Postgraduate Medical Education to the Yorkshire Deanery, 1993-1999; Lead Dean for Psychiatry 1999-2001


Alister MacKenzie

MBChB 1905

Golf course designer, work includes Augusta National Golf Club


Irene Manton FRS

Honorary DSc 1985

Cutting-edge botanist; President, Linnean Society; staff, Professor of Biology 1946-69


Ralph Miliband


Noted academic and political theorist, staff, Professor and Head of Politics department 1972-78


Lord (Berkeley) Moynihan of Leeds

Yorkshire College graduate;
Honorary LLD 1924

Pioneer of Leeds Medical school, President, Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland


Jack Nutting

BSc Metallurgy 1945,
PhD Materials 1948

Electron microscopist with metals and alloys; winner, Beilby, Hadfield and Wilkinson medals; staff, Professor of Metallurgy 1960-89


Frank Parkinson

Electrical engineering 1910,
Honorary LLD 1939

Chairman, Crompton Parkinson Company; University benefactor


Lord (George) Porter of Luddenham FRS

Chemistry 1941,
Honorary DSc 1971

Chemist; shared the 1967 Nobel Chemistry Prize for work on high-speed, light-driven chemical reactions; President, Royal Society


R.D. Preston FRS

Chemistry 1941

Astbury Professor of Biophysics


Arthur Ransome

Yorkshire College 1901-02,
Honorary DLitt 1953

Author, 'Swallows and Amazons', 'Coot Club' and other children's books


Kathleen Raven DBE

Honorary LLD 1996

Chief Nursing Officer, Department of Health and Social Security, 1958–72


Sir Herbert Read

MC Student 1914,
Honorary DLitt 1932

Poet; critic; arts writer; essayist; co-founder, Institute for Contemporary Arts


Vernon Scannell FRSL

Student, English 1940s

Author; poet; broadcaster


Jon Silkin

English 1962

Poet; critic; editor; founder of 'Stand' magazine; Gregory Fellow in Poetry 1958-60


Esther Simpson OBE

French 1924, Honorary LLD 1989

Assistant Secretary, Academic Assistance Council (now the Council for At-Risk Academics), helped academic refugees find safety


Sir Roger Stevens

Honorary LLD 1971

British Ambassador to Sweden and Iran; civil servant; academic, Vice-Chancellor 1963-70


Margaret Sutherland


Emeritus Professor, Chair and Dean in the School of Education 1975-1986, pioneering linguist


Edmund Clifton (E.C.) Stoner FRS


World-leading physicist; staff, Professor of Theoretical Physics, 1939-51; Cavendish Professor of Physics 1951-63


James Francis Tait

Physics 1945

Physicist and endocrinologist; discovered and identified the hormone aldosterone alongside his wife Sylvia.


Cec Thompson

History 1932

English professional rugby league footballer of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s; founder of the University's rugby league team


Edward Palmer Thompson FBA


Social historian; political activist; staff, Extra-mural Studies, 1948-65


Geoffrey Timms OBE FRSE

MA Mathematics 1925

Mathematician and cryptoanalyst; worked alongside Alan Turing at Bletchley Park breaking the Enigma code


John Ronald Reuel (J.R.R.) Tolkien CBE


Author, 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy; staff, Reader in and Professor of English Language 1920-25


Hazel Townson

English 1949

Children's author


Harold Woolhouse


Director, John Innes Institute; Director, Waite Institute; staff, Professor of Botany 1969-80


Jane Wynne

Medicine 1969

Prominent paediatrician; Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians; Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health



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