Derek Ezra, Baron Ezra

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Derek Ezra, Baron Ezra, MBE (23 February 1919 – 22 December 2015) was a British coal industry administrator who served as Chairman of the National Coal Board for eleven years. His great nephew is the musical artist, George Ezra.

Early life[edit]

Ezra attended Monmouth School before going up to Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he graduated with a first class honours degree in History. [1][2] He joined the Liberal Party in 1936 at university, when he joined Cambridge University Liberal Club, whose committee he later joined.[3] During World War II he worked in intelligence at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force; he received the U.S. Bronze Star Medal in 1945 [4]


Ezra embarked on a career with the National Coal Board in 1945 and held the post of Chairman of the National Coal Board for the longest term in its history. He later served as a Liberal Democrat life peer and member of the House of Lords, and was a Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesperson for Energy from 1998-2005. Following the death of Denis Healey in October 2015, Ezra became the oldest sitting member of the House of Lords,[5] but took leave of absence on 30 November and died on 22 December 2015.[6]


In 1945 Ezra was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE),[7] and was knighted on 24 July 1974.[8] He was created a life peer as Baron Ezra, of Horsham in the County of West Sussex 2 February 1983.[9]

Ezra was a Liveryman Honoris Causa of the Haberdashers' Company, and an Honorary Fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge.

Derek Ezra Award[edit]

The Combustion Engineering Association gives the Derek Ezra Award for "outstanding achievement in the study of combustion engineering".


  1. ^ Lord Ezra Obituary at The Guardian Retrieved 22 December 2015
  2. ^ Baron Ezra Obituary at FT Retrieved 22 December 2015
  3. ^ "About us". The Keynes Society.
  4. ^ "Lord Ezra, NCB chairman - obituary". 22 December 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  5. ^ "House of Lords, Official Website - Who is the oldest sitting Member of the House of Lords?". Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  6. ^ "Lord Ezra". UK Parliament website.
  7. ^ "No. 37204". The London Gazette (Supplement). 2 August 1945. p. 3954.
  8. ^ "No. 46366". The London Gazette. 8 October 1974. pp. 8535–8536.
  9. ^ "No. 49256". The London Gazette. 7 February 1983. p. 1795.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Alf Robens
Chairman of the National Coal Board
Succeeded by
Sir Norman Siddall