Herbert Richard Hoggart (1918 – 2014) was a British academic whose career covered the fields of sociology, English literature and cultural studies, with emphasis on British popular culture. Richard Hoggart was born in Leeds, Yorkshire to an impoverished family. His father, a housepainter and former soldier, died when Richard was only one year old. His mother died when he was eight.
The family of three children were then separated and Richard was taken to live with his grandmother. Richard hadn’t completed his Masters thesis before he was called up to serve in the Royal Artillery during the second world war. In the post-war years, Hoggart taught at Hull University for 13 years. He published his first book, a study of WH Auden’s poetry, in 1951 and then, after the publication of his much-acclaimed work, The Uses of Literacy, he taught English at the University of Leicester.
In 1962, Hoggart was the founder and first director of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at the University of Birmingham.