Roy Porter was an astonishingly prolific scholar, with over one hundred books to his name. He specialized in the social history of the eighteenth century, especially the history of medicine. A native of South London, he attended Cambridge University on scholarship, where he later became Dean of Studies in History. He also served as the Director of the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine until his retirement in 2001. He received numerous honors for his work, including the Leo Gershoy Award of the American Historical Association.