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Sir David Cox, 1924 – 2022

27 Jan 22

We received the news of the loss of Sir David Cox on 18 January 2022 with great sadness.

David Cox wearing a shirt and red jumper. He has grey hair and is wearing glasses.

For many in the Department, the loss is personal as well as professional.

David (for he very much preferred that ‘Sir’ was not used) made many contributions of great importance to the discipline of statistics as well as, in his view more importantly, of great importance to other areas of sciences. The Cox proportional hazards model, which being David he never called it, is widely used to identify risk factors that increase or decrease the risk of ‘survival’ in many settings well beyond the field of medicine. Later this year it will be 50 years since his landmark paper introducing the proportional hazards model. David had actively contributed to plans to mark this occasion. His presence will be sorely missed.

His gentle kindness was as much one of his superpowers as his great intellect. David has collaborated with and mentored generations of statisticians, in many cases for decades. At the same time he wrote dozens of books and he continued to supervise research students.

David moved to Oxford in 1988 when he served as Warden of Nuffield College until 1994. He will be greatly missed by people around the world, with many of them in the Department of Statistics and Nuffield College.

Information about a memorial service will be provided in due course.