Sir Isaiah Berlin
(6 June 1909 – 5 November 1997) was a Russian-British social and political theorist, philosopher
and historian of ideas
. In its obituary of the scholar, the Independent
stated that "Isaiah Berlin was often described, especially in his old age, by means of superlatives: the world's greatest talker, the century's most inspired reader, one of the finest minds of our time [...] there is no doubt that he showed in more than one direction the unexpectedly large possibilities open to us at the top end of the range of human potential".
An annual Isaiah Berlin Lecture is held at the Hampstead Synagogue, at Wolfson College, Oxford, at the British Academy, and in Riga. Berlin's work on liberal theory and on value pluralism has had a lasting influence.