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In Memoriam: Peter Leonard

250Peter Leonard, who as the first Professor of Social Work founded the Department of Applied Social Studies in 1973, died on the 30 September 2013, aged 83 years, in Montreal, Canada.

Peter was very influential in social work education in the UK and abroad. He was the youngest member of the influential government Seebohm Committee which reported in 1968 and led to the creation of a unified social work profession in the UK. He pioneered the structural approach to social work at Warwick which gave prominence to social justice and equality issues, was an inspiring educator, and wrote many influential books and articles on critical and radical subjects. In 1986 he accepted an invitation to become Director of the School of Social Work at McGill University, where he spent the remainder of his working life, still teaching there until very recently.

Peter was influential in helping to make Warwick the successful university it is today, one of a group of leading and innovative thinkers and authorities in their field that Warwick recruited in its early days, and the MA Social Work programme that he initiated has continued to this day, now based within the Centre for Lifelong Learning.

He leaves behind his wife Lynne, his first wife Anne, five children and six grandchildren, and many mourning friends and former colleagues in the UK and across the world.