Leon Radzinowicz

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Sir Leon Radzinowicz
QC (Hon) FBA
1st Wolfson Professor of Criminology
In office
Succeeded by Nigel Walker
1st Director of the Cambridge Institute of Criminology
In office
Personal details
Born (1906-08-15)15 August 1906
Łódź, Poland
Died 29 December 1999(1999-12-29) (aged 93)
Haverford, Pennsylvania, United States
Resting place Ascension Parish Burial Ground, Cambridge, England
Spouse(s) Irene Szereszewsk (m. 1933; div. 1955)
Mary Ann Nevins (m. 1958; div. 1979)
Isolde Klarmannb (m. 1979)
Children Two

Sir Leon Radzinowicz, QC (Hon), FBA (15 August 1906 – 29 December 1999) was a criminologist and academic. He was the founding director of the Institute of Criminology at the University of Cambridge.[1]

Early life[edit]

Radzinowicz was born on 15 August 1906 in Łódź, Poland.[2] He studied law as an undergraduate student at the University of Paris and the University of Geneva.[2] He went on to study for a doctorate at the University of Cracow.[3] During this time, he spent a year studying under Enrico Ferri at the Institute of Criminology in Rome, Italy.[2]

Radzinowicz moved to England in 1938, having been granted funding by the Polish Ministry of Justice to study the English legal system.[3]

Academic career[edit]

From 1949 to 1959, Radzinowicz was Director of the Department of Criminal Science, University of Cambridge.[4] In 1959, he founded the Cambridge Institute of Criminology.[3][5] In 1959 he became the first Wolfson Professor of Criminology.[4]


On 29 December 1999, Radzinowicz died in Haverford, Pennsylvania, United States. He was aged 93.[3] He is buried with his third wife in the Ascension Parish Burial Ground in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Radzinowicz had married three times. He married Irene Szereszewsk in 1933; they divorced in 1955. He was married to Mary Ann Nevins from 1958 to 1979. They had two children: Ann and William.[2] In 1979, he married Isolde Klarmannb (née Doerenburg; 11 October 1915 – 2 February 2011).[2][6]


In the 1970 New Years Honours, Radzinowicz was appointed a Knight Bachelor in recognition of his work at the University of Cambridge.[7] On 24 February 1970, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.[8] In 1973, he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA).[4] On 13 April 1999, he was appointed an honorary Queen's Counsel (QC).[9]


  1. ^ Institute of Criminology - History of the Institute
  2. ^ a b c d e Hood, Roger (2001). "Leon Radzinowicz 1906–1999" (PDF). Proceedings of the British Academy. The British Academy. 111: 637–55. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d Ravo, Nick (10 January 2000). "Leon Radzinowicz, 93, Leader in Criminology". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c "RADZINOWICZ, Sir Leon, QC (15/08/1906-29/12/1999)". British Academy Fellows. British Academy. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 
  5. ^ "Institute History". Institute of Criminology. University of Cambridge. 2014. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Goldie, Mark (2009). A Guide to Churchill College, Cambridge. pp. 62–63. 
  7. ^ "No. 44999". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1969. p. 2. 
  8. ^ "No. 45050". The London Gazette. 27 February 1970. p. 2453. 
  9. ^ "Crown Office". The London Gazette (55464). 21 April 1999. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 

External links[edit]