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Richard Doll was born on October 28th 1912 in Hampton. He joined the Communist Party in his student years and graduated from St Thomas’ hospital in 1937.
Doll helped set up the national blood service, insisting that Britain avoid the American path of paying donors for their blood. His war years were spent in the RAMC, on a hospital ship.
Doll became famous for his joint scientific work on the link with cancer and smoking in a 1950 paper.
Doll was a member of the Communist Party until May 1957. He resigned, due to his difference with the conclusions of the CPGB’s commission on Inner-Party Democracy. He and his wife were members of the Norland branch in Kensington at least for most of the 1950s but had probably joined in their youth.
In his later years, Doll was the most influential occupational epidemiologist, working particularly on exposure limits to asbestos.
He died on July 24th 2005, aged 92.