Microbiologists

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Microbiologists are the scientists who study microscopic organisms like bacteria, fungi, algae, etc. and their effects on other living organisms. Microbiology, as a separate field of biology focuses on studying the characteristics, growth and development of microorganisms both at the molecular and cellular level. It also involves the study of their ecology and their effects on other living organisms like plants and animals. Microbiologists in the course of their work collect samples from various types of environments like human beings, animal, field locations, etc. and analyze these in the laboratory to identify and monitor the microorganisms present in the samples. Some specializations within this field include bacteriology, immunology, mycology, and phycology. This field of science is closely related with other life sciences like molecular biology and biochemistry. Microbiologists work in a number of fields like medicine, research, and university teaching. They basically work in a laboratory setting and use a variety of tools like microscopes, gas chromatographs, and electrophoresis gels while working with microbes. Their work is also required in industries like pharmaceuticals, food processing, and biotechnology. What follows is a collection of the biographies, timelines, trivia and other information about the professional and personal lives of some of the world’s most famous microbiologists.
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 1 
Louis Pasteur
(French Chemist and Microbiologist Who Discovered the Principles of Vaccination, Microbial Fermentation and Pasteurization)
Louis Pasteur
14
Birthdate: December 27, 1822
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dole, France
Died: September 28, 1895
Considered one of the founders of bacteriology, Louis Pasteur created vaccines for anthrax and rabies, and invented the process of heating food and wine to kill microbes that cause contamination, which was named pasteurization after him. Known as the “father of microbiology,” he also founded the Pasteur Institute in Paris.  
 2 
Alexander Fleming
(Physician and Microbiologist Who Discovered ‘Penicillin’ World’s First Broadly Effective Antibiotic Substance)
Alexander Fleming
8
Birthdate: August 6, 1881
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Darvel, East Ayrshire, Scotland
Died: March 11, 1955

Alexander Fleming was a Scottish microbiologist and physician. He is credited with discovering penicillin, the world's first effective antibiotic substance; a discovery that changed the course of history. He also discovered lysozyme, an antimicrobial enzyme which forms part of the innate immune system. In 1999, Fleming was named in Time magazine's 100 Most Important People of the 20th century list.

 3 
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek
6
Birthdate: October 24, 1632
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Delft, Netherlands
Died: August 26, 1723

Seventeenth-century Dutch scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, also known as the Father of Microbiology, is remembered as a pioneer of microscopy. His contribution to microbiology included the discovery of spermatozoa, bacteria, and muscle fibers. Though he had not authored any book, his letters to the Royal Society were later published.

 4 
Robert Koch
(Physician)
Robert Koch
4
Birthdate: December 11, 1843
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany
Died: May 27, 1910

Robert Koch was a German microbiologist and physician. One of the prominent co-founders of modern bacteriology, Koch is credited with creating and improving laboratory techniques and technologies in the field of microbiology. He is also credited with making important discoveries in public health. In 1905, Robert Koch won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research on tuberculosis.

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 5 
Francis Crick
(Co-discoverer of the Structure of the DNA Molecule, Nobel Prize Winner)
Francis Crick
6
Birthdate: June 8, 1916
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Weston Favell, Northamptonshire, England
Died: July 28, 2004

Nobel Prize-winning British biophysicist Francis Crick is best known for his ground-breaking work to determine the structure of the DNA, along with James Watson, Maurice Wilkins, and Rosalind Franklin. He taught at various institutes, such as the Salk Institute, and was also awarded the Order of Merit.

 6 
Bruce Edwards Ivins
(Biologist, Scientist, Circus performer, Politician)
Bruce Edwards Ivins
5
Birthdate: April 22, 1946
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lebanon
Died: July 29, 2008

Bruce Edwards Ivins was a microbiologist and vaccinologist. He served as the senior biodefense researcher at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). He was the suspected perpetrator of the 2001 anthrax attacks and died in an apparent suicide after realizing that he was likely to face criminal charges for his alleged role in the attacks. 

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 7 
Emmanuelle Charpentier
3
Birthdate: December 11, 1968
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Juvisy-sur-Orge, France
 8 
Sucharit Bhakdi
(Thai-German Retired Microbiologist Who Termed COVID-19 Pandemic as "Fake")
Sucharit Bhakdi
0
Birthdate: November 1, 1946
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

Sucharit Bhakdi is a Thai-German retired microbiologist. Although a reputed scientist with a number of prestigious awards under his belt, Bhakdi achieved infamy during the COVID-19 pandemic when he claimed that the pandemic was fake and that the vaccines were being administered to decimate the world's population. Sucharit Bhakdi is the recipient of the Gay-Lussac Humboldt Prize among other awards.

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 9 
Carlo Urbani
(Epidemiologist)
Carlo Urbani
5
Birthdate: October 19, 1956
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Castelplanio
Died: March 29, 2003
Microbiologist Carlo Urbani, a parasitic infections expert, was working at the WHO Hanoi office when the deadly and contagious disease SARS had started to spread across the world in 2003. He alerted the WHO headquarters in Geneva about the disease, thus saving many lives, though he eventually succumbed to it.
 10 
Peter Piot
(Belgian-British Microbiologist Known for His Work on AIDS and Ebola)
Peter Piot
3
Birthdate: February 17, 1949
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Leuven, Belgium

Belgian-British microbiologist Peter Piot headed the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, or UNAIDS. He has also served as the United Nations under-secretary-general. In 1976, he helped discover the Ebola virus. He has also penned several books, taught at various institutes, and led the International AIDS Society.

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 11 
Selman Waksman
(Biochemist and Microbiologist Who Discovered ‘Streptomycin’ and Several Other Antibiotics)
Selman Waksman
5
Birthdate: July 22, 1888
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nova Pryluka, Ukraine
Died: August 16, 1973
Nobel Prize-winning Ukrainian-American biochemist and microbiologist Selman Waksman revolutionized science with his pathbreaking discovery of a number of antibiotics. His research on soil microbes helped in the discovery of streptomycin, the first successful treatment of tuberculosis, though he was sued by his student Albert Schatz for stealing credits.
 12 
Maurice Hilleman
(Microbiologist)
Maurice Hilleman
8
Birthdate: August 30, 1919
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Miles City, Montana, United States
Died: April 11, 2005

Maurice Hilleman was an American microbiologist who developed more than 40 vaccines. His vaccines save almost eight million lives every year and he is regarded as one of the most important vaccinologists of all time. He also played a major role in the discovery of antigenic drift and shift. In 1988, he was honored with the National Medal of Science.

 13 
Richard M. Krause
(American Physician, Immunologist, and Microbiologist)
Richard M. Krause
7
Birthdate: January 4, 1925
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Marietta, Ohio, United States
Died: January 6, 2015

Richard M. Krause was an American physician, immunologist, and microbiologist. From 1975 to 1984, he served at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases as its director. He later served at Emory University as the dean of medicine. Richard M. Krause also worked as a professor at Rockefeller University.

 14 
Martinus Beijerinck
(Microbiologist)
Martinus Beijerinck
5
Birthdate: March 16, 1851
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Died: January 1, 1931
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 15 
Salvador Luria
(Microbiologist)
Salvador Luria
3
Birthdate: August 13, 1912
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Turin, Italy
Died: February 6, 1991

Nobel Prize-winning Italian microbiologist Salvador Luria is best remembered for his work on bacteriophages, or viruses that infect bacteria. He had also chaired Microbiology and later, the Center for Cancer Research at MIT. As a political activist, he was against nuclear weapon testing and was once banned from receiving funds.

 16 
Waldemar Haffkine
(Bacteriologists)
Waldemar Haffkine
0
Birthdate: March 15, 1860
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Odesa, Ukraine
Died: October 26, 1930
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 17 
John Franklin Enders
(American Biomedical Scientist Regarded as 'Father of Modern Vaccines')
John Franklin Enders
2
Birthdate: February 10, 1897
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: West Hartford, Connecticut
Died: September 8, 1985

John Franklin Enders was an American biomedical scientist best remembered for winning the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1954 along with Thomas Huckle Weller and Frederick Chapman Robbins for discovering that poliomyelitis viruses have the ability to grow in cultures of different types of tissue. John Franklin Enders is often referred to as the Father of Modern Vaccines.

 18 
Ferdinand Cohn
(Founder of Bacteriology and Microbiology)
Ferdinand Cohn
2
Birthdate: January 24, 1828
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Wrocław, Poland
Died: June 25, 1898

Ferdinand Cohn was a German biologist who is credited with co-founding microbiology and modern bacteriology. Apart from publishing more than 150 research reports, Cohn also made significant contributions to the field of botany. He was also the first person to classify algae as plants. Ferdinand Cohn received the prestigious Leeuwenhoek Medal in 1885.

 19 
Sergei Winogradsky
(Russian Microbiologist and Ecologist Who Pioneered the Concept of the Cycle of Life)
Sergei Winogradsky
6
Birthdate: September 1, 1856
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kiev, Ukraine
Died: February 25, 1953

Russian microbiologist Sergei Winogradsky was the first to suggest the concept of the cycle of life. Born into a family of lawyers, he initially aspired to be a lawyer and also studied music, before switching to chemistry and then botany. His research covered sulfur-oxidizing bacteria and the nitrogen cycle.

 20 
Daniel Nathans
(American Microbiologist Who won Nobel Prize in Medicine for the Discovery of Restriction Enzymes)
Daniel Nathans
2
Birthdate: October 30, 1928
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Wilmington, Delaware, US
Died: November 16, 1999

Daniel Nathans was an American microbiologist best remembered for winning the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1978 for the discovery of restriction endonuclease. Over the course of his career, Nathans worked for prestigious institutions, such as the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Daniel Nathans was also the recipient of several awards, including the National Medal of Science.

 21 
Ken Alibek
(Kazakh-American Biological Warfare Administrative Management Expert and Microbiologist)
Ken Alibek
0
Birthdate: 1950 AD
Birthplace: Kauchuk, Kazakhstan

Ken Alibek is a Kazakh-American biological warfare administrative management expert and microbiologist. During his career as a bioweaponeer for the Soviet in the 1970s and 1980s, Alibek managed projects that included weaponizing Marburg hemorrhagic fever and glanders. Ken Alibek is also credited with creating Russia's first tularemia bomb.

 22 
Werner Arber
(Microbiologist & Geneticist)
Werner Arber
2
Birthdate: June 3, 1929
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Gränichen, Aarau, Aargau, Switzerland

Werner Arber is a Swiss geneticist and microbiologist whose discovery of restriction endonucleases earned him the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1978; he shared the award with Daniel Nathans and Hamilton Smith. Arber's work alongside Nathans and Smith led to the progression of recombinant DNA technology. Werner Arber is also credited with co-founding the World Cultural Council.

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 23 
Heinrich Anton de Bary
(German Surgeon, Botanist, Microbiologist, and Mycologist Known for Demonstrating Sexual Life Cycle of Fungi)
Heinrich Anton de Bary
2
Birthdate: January 26, 1831
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Died: January 19, 1888

German surgeon and botanist Heinrich Anton de Bary is regarded as the pioneer of plant pathology and mycology. Apart from teaching botany, he chalked the life cycles of many fungi and also coined the term symbiosis to explain the mutually beneficial co-existence of many orgnanisms, such as fungi and algae.

 24 
Hamilton O. Smith
(American Microbiologist Who Discovered Type II Restriction Endonuclease)
Hamilton O. Smith
7
Birthdate: August 23, 1931
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York City, New York

Hamilton O. Smith is an American microbiologist best known for winning the 1978 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering type II restriction endonuclease along with Daniel Nathans and Werner Arber. Hamilton O. Smith is also well-known as the leading figure in the field of genomics.

 25 
Jules Bordet
(Nobel Prize-Winning Belgian Scientist Known for His Discovery of Factors in Blood Serum that Destroy Bacteria)
Jules Bordet
2
Birthdate: June 13, 1870
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Soignies
Died: April 6, 1961

Nobel Prize-winning Belgian immunologist and microbiologist Jules Bordet is remembered for his discovery of blood serum components that are capable of destroying bacteria. He later established the Pasteur Institute of Brussels and taught at the Free University of Brussels. He also discovered the Bordetella pertussis bacteria that causes whooping cough.

 26 
Albert Schatz
(American Microbiologist Who Discovered Streptomycin)
Albert Schatz
2
Birthdate: February 2, 1920
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Norwich, Connecticut, United States
Died: January 17, 2005

Albert Schatz was an American academic and microbiologist. He is best remembered for his discovery of streptomycin, the first effective antibiotic for the treatment of tuberculosis. In 1994, Albert Schatz was honored for his work with the prestigious Rutgers University Medal.

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 27 
René Dubos
(French-American Experimental Pathologist, Microbiologist, Humanist, Environmentalist, and Writer)
René Dubos
2
Birthdate: February 20, 1901
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Saint-Brice-sous-Forêt, France
Died: February 20, 1982

René Dubos was a French-American experimental pathologist, microbiologist, humanist, environmentalist, and writer. He is best remembered for his literary work, So Human An Animal, which earned him the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction. René Dubos is credited with popularizing the phrase, Think globally, act locally.

 28 
Nkandu Luo
(Zambian Politician and Microbiologist Who is Known for Her Extensive Research into HIV/AIDS)
Nkandu Luo
1
Birthdate: December 21, 1951
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chinsali, Zambia

Nkandu Luo is a Zambian politician and microbiologist. She is best known for her extensive research into HIV/AIDS at the University Teaching Hospital, where she was the former Head of Pathology and Microbiology. An important politician, Luo has held various ministerial offices, including the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Ministry of Higher Education, and Ministry of Gender and Child Development.

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 29 
Rebecca Lancefield
(American Microbiologist)
Rebecca Lancefield
2
Birthdate: January 5, 1895
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: March 3, 1981

Rebecca Lancefield was an American microbiologist best remembered for her association with the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research. Over a period of 60 years, Lancefield published more than 50 publications. Rebecca Lancefield was the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the American Heart Association Achievement Award and the T. Duckett Jones Award. 

 30 
Kiyoshi Shiga
(Japanese Bacteriologist and Physician Who Discovered the Shigella Dysenteriae Microorganism)
Kiyoshi Shiga
1
Birthdate: February 7, 1871
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Sendai, Miyagi, Japan
Died: January 25, 1957

Shiga Kiyoshi was a Japanese bacteriologist and physician. He is credited for many scientific discoveries, including the discovery of the Shigella dysenteriae microorganism. He also conducted research on diseases such as trypanosomiasis and tuberculosis. Kiyoshi Shiga is also credited with making numerous advancements in immunology and bacteriology.

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 31 
Friedrich Loeffler
(German Bacteriologist Who Co-Discovered the Bacteria that Causes 'Diphtheria')
Friedrich Loeffler
1
Birthdate: June 24, 1852
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Frankfurt an der Oder, Germany
Died: April 9, 1915

Born to a German army surgeon, bacteriologist Friedrich Loeffler followed in his father’s footsteps and served as an army doctor for a while before becoming an academic. He later co-discovered the Klebs-Löffler bacillus, the organism that causes diphtheria, and developed a serum to detect it, apart from founding a microbiology-oriented journal.

 32 
Johannes Eugenius Bülow Warming
1
Birthdate: November 3, 1841
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mano, Denmark
Died: April 2, 1924
 33 
André Lwoff
(French Microbiologist Who Won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1965)
André Lwoff
1
Birthdate: May 8, 1902
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ainay-le-Château, Allier, Auvergne, France
Died: September 30, 1994

André Lwoff was a French microbiologist best remembered for winning the 1965 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his contribution to the understanding of lysogeny. Over the course of his career, André Lwoff was also honored with many other prestigious awards, such as the Leeuwenhoek Medal and the Keilin Medal.

 34 
Max Schultze
(German Microscopic Anatomist Known for His Discovery of Protoplasm Theory)
Max Schultze
1
Birthdate: March 25, 1825
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
Died: January 16, 1874

Max Schultze was a German microscopic anatomist best remembered for his work concerning cell theory. He is credited with coining many botanical names and the author abbreviation M.Schultze is generally used to indicate Max Schultze as the author when citing a named coined by him.

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 35 
Monica Musenero
(Ugandan women scientist)
Monica Musenero
4
Birthdate: 1965 AD
Birthplace: Patete, Butebo District, Uganda
 36 
Froilano de Mello
(Microbiologist and Author)
Froilano de Mello
3
Birthdate: May 17, 1887
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Benaulim, Goa, Kingdom of Portugal
Died: January 9, 1955
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 37 
Félix d'Hérelle
(Microbiologist)
Félix d'Hérelle
1
Birthdate: April 25, 1873
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Montreal, Canada
Died: February 22, 1949
 38 
Kenneth V. Thimann
(American Plant Physiologist and Microbiologist Known for His Studies of Plant Hormones)
Kenneth V. Thimann
1
Birthdate: August 5, 1904
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ashford, Kent, England
Died: January 15, 1997

British-American plant physiologist Kenneth V. Thimann is best remembered for isolating and identifying the plant hormone auxin. Associated with Harvard University for most of his initial career, he later joined the University of California. His best-known works include Phytohormones on plant hormones and The Life of Bacteria on microbiology.

 39 
August von Wassermann
(German Hygienist and Bacteriologist Who Developed a Complement Fixation Test that Allowed for Early Detection of Syphilis)
August von Wassermann
3
Birthdate: February 21, 1866
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bamberg, Germany
Died: March 16, 1925

August von Wassermann was a German hygienist and bacteriologist. He is best remembered for developing a complement fixation test that allowed for early detection of syphilis in 1906. The test helped prevent the transmission of the disease and played a major role in the diagnosis of syphilis. In 1921, August von Wassermann became the first winner of the Aronson Prize

 40 
Hattie Alexander
(American Microbiologist and Pediatrician)
Hattie Alexander
5
Birthdate: April 5, 1901
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Died: June 24, 1968

Hattie Alexander was an American microbiologist and pediatrician. She is remembered for her service as the head of the bacterial infections program and as the lead microbiologist at Columbia-Presbyterian. Alexander occupied numerous positions at Columbia University, where she was respected for her work. She is the recipient of many awards, including the Elizabeth Blackwell Award and the E.Mead Johnson Award.

 41 
Armand Frappier
(Physician, Microbiologist)
Armand Frappier
0
Birthdate: November 26, 1904
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Quebec, Canada
Died: December 17, 1991
 42 
Julia Levy
(Microbiologist, Immunologist)
Julia Levy
2
Birthdate: May 15, 1934
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Singapore
 43 
Friedrich Karl Kleine
(German Pharmacologist and Microbiologist Who Developed the First Successful Remedy for Sleeping Sickness)
Friedrich Karl Kleine
0
Birthdate: May 14, 1869
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Stralsund, Germany
Died: March 22, 1951

Friedrich Karl Kleine was a German pharmacologist and microbiologist. He is best remembered for developing the first successful remedy for African trypanosomiasis or sleeping sickness. Friedrich Karl Kleine was the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Bernhard Nocht Medal, which was awarded to him in 1925.

 44 
Hans Cohen
(Microbiologist)
Hans Cohen
2
Birthdate: February 3, 1923
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Groningen, Netherlands
Died: May 14, 2020
 45 
Irving Millman
(American Microbiologist and Virologist Whose Work Led to the Development of a Vaccine Against Hepatitis B)
Irving Millman
0
Birthdate: May 23, 1923
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: April 17, 2012

Irving Millman was an American microbiologist and virologist. He is best remembered for his work which led to the formation of a test to nose out hepatitis B. Irving Millman was also involved in a team that developed a vaccine, which is now commonly administered to the newborns around the world.

 46 
Harold Ginsberg
(American Microbiologist Known for His Pioneering Research on AIDS & Hepatitis-B)
Harold Ginsberg
0
Birthdate: May 27, 1917
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Daytona Beach, Florida, United States
Died: February 2, 2003
American microbiologist Harold Ginsberg is remembered for his pathbreaking studies on viruses. He had contributed immensely to the research on AIDS and Hepatitis-B. After serving the US military during World War II, he worked with Rockefeller Institute and later headed the microbiology departments of institutes such as Columbia University.
 47 
Mary Bunting
(Fifth President of Radcliffe College)
Mary Bunting
2
Birthdate: July 10, 1910
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: January 21, 1998

Mary Bunting was an American college president best remembered for her association with Radcliffe College, where she became the fifth president in 1960. She is also credited with integrating women into Harvard University. A microbiologist by profession, Mary Bunting taught and conducted research at several prestigious institutions, such as Goucher College, Bennington College, Wellesley College, and Yale University.

 48 
Ephraim Anderson
(Bacteriologist)
Ephraim Anderson
0
Birthdate: October 28, 1911
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Died: March 14, 2006