EDINBURGH, Scotland, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Sir Bernard Crick, a British academic and political writer, died Friday in Edinburgh, Scotland, The Guardian reported. He was 79.
Crick died of cancer, in his sleep, at St. Columba's Hospice,The Guardian reported.
Crick, best known to the public for his biography of George Orwell, played an active role in politics for much of his career. He advised his former student, David Blunkett, who served as home secretary from 2001 to 2004, and was involved in efforts to bring peace in Northern Ireland.
Oliver Crick, one of his two sons, told The Guardian that his father was "concerned with encouraging participatory democracy in as many people as possible -- he was an old fashioned socialist."
Crick used some of the money he made from "Orwell: A Life" to set up the George Orwell Memorial Trust in honor of the socialist writer. The trust funds the Orwell Prize for political writing.