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Sir Terry Pratchett – a vigorous campaigner for dementia research

King’s is most saddened to hear of the death of Sir Terry Pratchett, one of the world's most successful authors and latterly, vigorous campaigner and generous provider of funds for the study of dementia, having been diagnosed with early-onset of Alzheimer’s disease in 2007.

Sir Terry had a strong relationship with the College. In 2011 King’s conferred Sir Terry an Honorary Fellowship of King’s College London, which is one of the most prestigious awards King's can bestow.  

In 2008, for the award-winning BBC2 documentary 'Terry Pratchett: Living with Alzheimer's’, he came to King’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) to find out more about its cutting-edge dementia research. He met researchers and visited the Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences, the Brain Bank, the MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre laboratories and was given a crash course in the vital role that fruit flies play in research.

Professor Robert Howard, Head of the Department of Old Age Psychiatry at King’s IoPPN said: 'Sir Terry was a very generous supporter of our Alzheimer’s disease research programmes here and made some memorable visits to meet our researchers. He had a rare variant of Alzheimer’s disease that meant that he was able to understand his predicament and articulate his views until much later in the illness than would be usual. 

‘He faced his own dementia diagnosis with great bravery and a huge amount of curiosity and his openness about his illness was inspiring and an important contribution to the fight against the stigma and shame around dementia that individuals and families sometimes feel.’

Terence David John Pratchett was born on 28 April 1948 near Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire and died on 12 March 2015 at home in Broad Chalk, surrounded by his family.  He was creator of the famous ‘Discworld’ novels, selling in excess of 70 million books worldwide in nearly 40 languages.

Notes to editors

For further information please contact Louise Pratt, PR & Communications Manager, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s on 020 7848 5378