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January 2017 update

The January 2017 update of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography adds new biographies of 241 men and women who died in the year 2013. Click on the portraits to read a selection of new lives, or here for details of all 241 new people.

Below you’ll find biographies of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, archaeologist and broadcaster Mick Aston, the Oscar-winning animator Bob Godfrey, jazz musician Kenny Ball, writer and Nobel prize-winner Doris Lessing, the racehorse trainer Sir Henry Cecil, wrestler Mick McManus, sociologist and educationist Jean Floud, Trinidadian airman and judge Ulric Cross, physiologist and Nobel prize-winner Robert Edwards, actor Richard Griffiths, the broadcaster David Frost, immunologist Brigitte Askonas, poet and Nobel prize-winner Seamus Heaney, conductor Sir Colin Davis, sculptor and painter Helene Fesenmaier, composer John Tavener, activist and publisher Jessica Huntley, author Iain Banks, broadcaster Alan Whicker, director Antonia Bird, Rear-Admiral Sir Morgan Morgan-Giles, sculptor Anthony Caro, chemist and Nobel prize-winner Sir John Cornforth, athlete and Olympian Emmanuel McDonald Bailey, and actor Peter O'Toole.

Margaret Thatcher Mick Aston Bob Godfrey Kenny Ball Doris Lessing
Henry Cecil Mick McManus Jean Floud Ulric Cross Robert Edwards
Richard Griffiths David Frost Brigitte Askonas Seamus Heaney Colin Davis
Helene Fesenmaier John Tavener Jessica Huntley Iain Banks Alan Whicker
Antonia Bird Morgan Morgan-Giles Anthony Caro John Cornforth McDonald Bailey Peter OToole

As well as a full list of subjects there's a guide to the new update introduced by the Dictionary’s general editor, David Cannadine. Online access to all 241 new biographies, together with the Oxford DNB’s 60,061 existing entries, is freely available—anywhere, anytime—via nearly all UK public libraries as well as university and college libraries worldwide.

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Horatio Nelson Nyree Dawn Porter Constantine I Anne Boleyn Winston Churchill Eileen Agar

  • the Oxford DNB online is freely available via public libraries across the UK. Libraries offer ‘remote access’ allowing members to log-on to the complete dictionary, for free, from home (or any other computer) twenty-four hours a day. The Dictionary is also available online via university and college libraries worldwide.
  • as well as 59,879 life stories, the ODNB offers a free, twice monthly biography podcast with over 250 life stories now available. Selected episodes are now also available on SoundCloud.
  • you can also sign up for a Life of the Day: a topical biography delivered to your inbox.
  • or follow us on Twitter @ODNB for people in the news.

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