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Obituary: Lord Bullock

The distinguished historian, academic and public servant Lord Bullock died on February 2, 2004, aged 89. Alan Bullock rose from humble beginnings to shine at Bradford Grammar School and gain first-class degrees in Greats and History at Oxford. 

Best known for his magisterial biographies of Hitler and Stalin, he was a prolific and conscientious writer for more than 60 years. His career centred upon the University of Oxford where his presence and influence touched every corner of academic life. 

Starting out as a modern history fellow of New College, his greatest achievement was as Founding Master of St Catherine’s College, in finding a site, raising the money and seeking an architect to realise his dream. The chosen architect was Arne Jacobsen, and the resulting campus was hailed as ‘perfect’ by Pevsner and is now Grade 1 listed. 

A towering intellect, renowned for his energy and vision, Bullock served as Oxford’s first full-time Vice-Chancellor between 1969 and 1973, and chaired government committees on the Reading and Use of English, and Industrial Democracy among many others.

Alan Bullock was knighted in 1972 and created a life peer in 1976. He received many other honours, among them the Honorary Doctor of Letters conferred upon him by the University of Leicester in 1984.

David Johnson

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Last updated: 17 February 2004 17:00
Maintained by: Barbara Whiteman

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