Sir Edward Wright

Aberdeen Press and Journal obituary

Obituaries Index


One of the most distinguished academics in Scotland and former principal and vice- chancellor of Aberdeen University has died.

Tributes have been paid to respected mathematician Sir Edward Maitland Wright who died peacefully on February 2. He was only two weeks away from his 100th birthday.

A former colleague yesterday described him as an "extraordinary man who never forgot his roots".

His many honours included a plethora of honorary degrees including being a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and one of its prizewinners and the longest-serving Honorary Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford. He was granted a knighthood in 1976.

Professor Edward Paterson, who worked with Sir Edward as a senior maths lecturer in the early 60s said: "He was a most unusual man who was able to deal with all the administration matters which came with being principal and yet didn't forget his first love of mathematics.

The Leeds-born academic was just 29 when he was appointed professor of mathematics at Aberdeen University.
Educated at Dumfries and the universities of London and Oxford, Sir Edward's school and university career were marked with distinction and honours.

The son of a soap factory owner, his interest in mathematics began at age 14.

It was at Oxford that he met his wife, Phyllis. The couple married in 1934.

He is survived by his son, John, who recently took up his father's old post as professor of mathematics at Aberdeen University.

A funeral service will take place on February 18, at 11.30am in the Chapel of Jesus College, Oxford.

Laura Grant

© 2005 Aberdeen Press and Journal