Dr Alan Howard 1929-2020

Dr Alan Howard, founder and chairman of the Howard Foundation, died peacefully on 24 June 2020 at the age of 91.

Born in Norwich in 1929, Alan Howard gained a place at the City of Norwich School where he specialised in Chemistry. In 1948, he won a place at Downing College Cambridge to read Natural Sciences. In the following year he was awarded an exhibition and graduated in 1951. He then worked in the department of medicine and was awarded his PhD in 1955. He continued working at the University until 1992.

Following work on Atherosclerosis and Obesity, he became secretary to the newly formed Obesity Association in 1967. From 1973 to 1979, he worked with others to turn research on helping morbidly obese patients into a product for the public which became the Cambridge Diet. He created the Howard Foundation in 1982 and in 1984 formed the Cambridge Manufacturing Company to market the Cambridge Diet. The business was sold in 2005.

In 1995, Dr Howard began research into Macular Degeneration and the importance of Carotenoids. This led to work with Dr John Nolan and the funding of research at the Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) in Ireland and a recent UK patent on nutritional supplements to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from WIT in October 2019.

The Howard Foundation has made significant donations to Downing College Cambridge and in 2009, Dr Howard was awarded the Chancellors 800th Anniversary Medal for outstanding philanthropy, given by Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace.

6 thoughts on “Dr Alan Howard 1929-2020

  1. Nicky Bean 26th June 2020 / 6:53 pm

    So sad to hear about Alan Howard’s passing. Thoughts and prayers go out to all of Alan’s family & friends.

  2. David Stubbings 6th July 2020 / 11:09 am

    My sympathy and condolences to Dr Howard’s family. I remember Alan with affection, for he supervised me in organic chemistry and biochemistry in 1957-8 with success. To me he was a good tolerant patient teacher as the subjects were not to my forte, but I needed them to carry on reading Veterinary Medicine, and through his help, I qualified and had a successful career. I met him from time to time at Conferences and College events, where he knew instantly who I was and always greeted me warmly.
    Thank you, Alan, may you rest in peace

  3. Neil Axe 31st August 2020 / 3:53 pm

    Sorry to hear of his passing. I assume that the Howard Building at Downing is named after him?

    • HowardFoundation 1st September 2020 / 10:43 am

      Yes that is correct. The Howard Foundation also supported the building of the Howard Theatre.

  4. william AMZALLAG 22nd October 2020 / 10:27 am

    Alan était un ami et un mentor .Il va nous manquer .Merci pour tout ce que vous avez fait pour la Howard Foundation.I just enjoyed every moment with you .You enjoyed so much life,food and wine .tHANK YOU AGAIN

  5. Ofra (Fran) Kaplan 26th May 2021 / 7:22 pm

    I had the pleasure and honour of Dr Howard financing my private singing lessons during my time at Downing. In a letter I explained to Dr Howard that as observant Jewess I refrained from singing in the college choir in the chapel, which was also a way of enhancing my musical development. Dr Howard and I came to an arrangement whereby in return for his generous contributions to my singing lessons, I would give a certain number of recitals in the Howard Building per term. This worked splendidly for all especially as at that time, the Howard Building was quite new and a little under -used. At some point, Dr Howard also invited me to his home to provide the musical interlude at an event, I forget, what. It was all very civil and charming ( and no Cambridge Diet was served!) and I remain truly grateful for those opportunities he gave me. He had vision. Thank you, Alan.

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