Former government advisor Sir Roger Scruton has died today at the age of 75.
The philosopher and writer had been fighting cancer for around six months.
His family said in a statement: “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Sir Roger Scruton, FBA, FRSL. Beloved husband of Sophie, adored father to Sam and Lucy and treasured brother of Elizabeth and Andrea, he died peacefully on Sunday 12th January.
“He was born on 27th February 1944 and had been fighting cancer for the last six months. His family are hugely proud of him and of all his achievements.”
The author engaged in political and cultural debate and advised the Tories. However, he temporarily lost his unpaid role as government housing minister in April last year after describing the Chinese as “creating robots out of their own people” and referring to a “Soros empire” in Hungary – a reference to the Jewish billionaire George Soros. The quoted remarks were attributed from an interview with Sir Scruton.
These comments were later found to be taken out of context though and the position was reinstated. The publication also apologised for inaccurately representing the adviser’s views.
Sir Scruton also lectured at Birkbeck College in London from 1971 to 1992. He held academic positions at other universities both in the UK and in the US.
Born in rural Buslingthorpe, Lincolnshire, Sir Scruton was raised by a teacher Jack Scruton, who himself had won a scholarship to attend Manchester High School, a grammar institution.
The family later lived in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, and, like his dad, Sir Scruton attended a top grammar school.
He then graduated from University of Cambridge in 1965. However, his father stopped talking to him after he told his family he had got a place at the university.
Nevertheless, he researched aesthetics and English identity extensively for his PhD in the 1970s and quickly became a prolific writer.
In 2000, he told The Guardian he became a conservative, after witnessing the Paris riots of May 1968.
The dad also supported English independence and suggested Scotland should have voted for this in its referendum in 2014.
Sir Scruton was married twice; first to teacher Danielle Laffitte whom he met teaching in France. They wed in 1973 but divorced in 1979 after residing together in central London.
The author married historian Sophie Jeffreys in 1996 and went on to have two children together; Sam in 1998 and Lucy in 2000.