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Farewell Great Man..

Eric Hobsbawm, the great historian who inspired thousands, probably more, died during the early hours of Monday morning at the Royal Free Hospital, his daughter Julia confirmed today. He had been suffering from pneumonia.

In a statement his family said: “He will be greatly missed not only by his wife of 50 years, Marlene, and his three children, seven grandchildren and great grandchild, but also by his many thousands of readers and students around the world.”

Born to Jewish parents in Egypt in 1917, the year of the Russian Revolution, Prof Hobsbawm’s life and works were shaped by his commitment to radical socialism.

His British father and Austrian mother moved to Vienna when he was two, then to Berlin.

He joined the Communist Party aged 14, after he had been orphaned and was living with his uncle.

In 1933, with Hitler’s grip on power tightening, he came to London. After gaining a PhD from Cambridge, he published his first book in 1948.

Hobsbawm was appointed a lecturer at Birkbeck College in London in 1947, spending his entire career on the faculty and eventually being appointed president.

His best-known works were the three-volume history of the 19th Century and his book the Age of Extremes which covered the eight decades from WWI to the collapse of communism in Europe.

He published his final book, How to Change the World, in 2011.