Richard Hoggart was born in Leeds in 1918. He served with the Royal Artillery in North Africa from 1940 to 1946, after which he taught literature at the University of Hull and went on to hold senior academic positions at the University of Rochester, NY, the University of Leicester, Birmingham University (where he founded the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies) and Goldsmiths.
Professor Hoggart has been a member of numerous bodies and at different times was an Assistant Director-General of UNESCO, Chairman of the New Statesman, Vice-Chairman of the Arts Council, and Chairman of the National Book League and the Broadcasting Research Unit.
The Uses of Literacy, his most widely acclaimed work, was partly autobiographical and drawn from his own boyhood growing up in the North of England. A landmark exploration of the relationship between affluence and values, and between the skills an education affords and the pull of pop culture, it has lost none of its pertinence and power today.