2020 Update of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

January 9, 2020

The January 2020 update of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford DNB) adds new biographies of 226 men and women who died in the year 2016.

Below you’ll find biographies of singer and actor David Bowie, actor and comedian Ronnie Corbett, journalist, editor, and author Sally Brampton, architect Zaha Hadid, barrister and judge Sir Mota Singh, forensic scientist Margaret Pereira, playwright Sir Arnold Wesker, historian Asa Briggs, Baron Briggs, playwright and screenwriter Michael Abbensetts, author Jenny Diski, actor Alan Rickman, dancer and choreographer Peggy Spencer, politician Jo Cox, bishop of Derry Edward Daly, poet Sir Geoffrey Hill, singer, musician, and sound engineer Emile Ford, singer and songwriter George Michael, author, educationist, and diplomatist E. R. Braithwaite, comedian, actress, and writer Caroline Aherne, potter Mary Wondrausch, chemist Sir Harry Kroto, rabbi, broadcaster, and author Lionel Blue, diplomatist and international civil servant Dame Margaret Anstee, and broadcaster Terry Wogan. Discover the full list of entries added this year.



The Oxford DNB is updated regularly throughout the year, giving you access to the most up-to-date and accurate information available. Nearly all public libraries in England, Scotland, and Wales—and all in Northern Ireland—subscribe to the Oxford DNB. This means you can access tens of thousands of biographies, free, via your local library—anywhere, anytime. Full access to all biographies is also available by individual subscription.

Discover a full list of entries added this year.