David Bowie, Alan Rickman and more added to Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

By Rosemary Collins, 10 January 2020 - 2:52pm

The ODNB has announced 228 new additions to commemorate the ‘year of celebrity deaths’ in 2016

David Bowie death
David Bowie performs on Dutch TV, 1974 (Credit: Gijsbert Hanekroot/ Redferns/ Getty Images)

Famous Brits from the fields of music, film, politics and more are now commemorated online as the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB) announced its new additions for 2020.

The new edition of the dictionary honoured the notable people who died in 2016 – the ‘year of celebrity deaths’ - with a total of 228 new entries.

One of the most iconic celebrities now added to the dictionary is David Bowie (1947-2016).

Known for his flamboyant style and different personas, the singer-songwriter (real name David Robert Jones) pioneered and influenced many genres of music and recorded hits such as ‘Heroes, ‘Let’s Dance’ and ‘Oh, You Pretty Things’.

Another widely-mourned celebrity added to the ODNB is actor and director Alan Rickman (1946-2016), known for his unforgettable roles as Hans Gruber in Die Hard and Professor Snape in the Harry Potter films.

From the world of politics, the dictionary added Helen Joanne (Jo) Cox MP, the politician and campaigner whose murder on 16 June 2016 shocked the nation.

Among the other famous figures included in the dictionary are pop star George Michael (1963-2016), comedian Ronnie Corbett (1938-2016) and legendary radio presenter Sir Terry Wogan (1938-2016).

In total, the ODNB tells the life stories of 63,693 notable people from British history, with 11,773 entries accompanied by portraits of the subject.

It is produced in print and online.

Selected entries can be read for free online, and the full online edition is available at most public libraries.

 

 

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