It is with the deepest sadness that we announce the death on 12 February 2016 of Maurice Fraser, former Head of the European Institute.
A personal message from Professor Craig Calhoun, President and Director of LSE:
Maurice Fraser was a friend of LSE from his days as a student through his career in public life to his return as a distinguished leader in the European Institute. Charming, gracious, and a witty conversationalist he brought wide and practical knowledge to the School. He will be sorely missed, not least in the context of the current debates over Europe, on which an LSE Commission he helped found will soon report.
Maurice’s ties to the School stretch over a long period: having been an undergraduate in Government, he returned after 1995 to teach in what was then the new European Institute. He became Head of the European Institute in 2013, but was obliged to step down in December 2015 owing to ill-health. Maurice was Professor in Practice, having served as special advisor to three successive British foreign secretaries during the tumultuous historical period of 1989-1995, amongst other posts. Maurice had wide professional experience, being a member/trustee/chair of a range of public bodies. Of special importance to him was his work on Europe and, in particular, Anglo-French relations. He had been educated at the Lycee Francais de Londres and he became Vice-Chair of the Franco-British Council and a contributing editor to ‘Valeurs Actuelles’, a French weekly. At LSE, he was the Programme Director for the European Institute’s double Masters’ degree with Sciences-Po. He was made Chevalier de la Legion d’ honneur in 2008 and Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia in 2015.
Maurice was the long-term Director of the LSE’s public lecture series on Europe, utilising his extensive professional experience and contacts to make the School the premier UK platform for public debate on Europe. He was a devoted teacher and was inspired to help bridge the gap between the practical world of policy-making and that of academe for successive generations of the European Institute’s students.
Maurice was widely liked and admired, by both staff and students and across public life. He was very well-read and had a range of intellectual interests. Discussion with him was often stimulating, sometimes maddening, but always courteous and fun. He was a supportive and respectful colleague and he loved LSE. Latterly, he gave everything to the European Institute – endeavouring to carry on as Head, despite his deterioration and amidst much stress. It had been his dearest wish to attend last December’s Graduation Ceremony to announce the names of his beloved graduands, but alas this was already not feasible for him. His family background and his professional experience made Maurice a committed and life-long ‘European’ in his political orientation. His legacy of service to LSE will ensure that he always remain a cherished part of the European Institute community. We will all miss him terribly.
The European Institute has received many, many warm personal messages of sympathy from his friends – from across British and European academic and public life – and these reflect Maurice’s character and stature. Maurice’s family are inviting donations to the Brain Tumour Charity, in lieu of flowers – www.justgiving.com/mauricefraser
Our thoughts and prayers are with Maurice’s family.
Professor Kevin Featherstone
Head, European Institute
Professor Christian Lequesne,of Sciences Po in Paris, has written an obituary for Maurice Fraser in French newspaper Le Monde.
If you would like to post a tribute to Maurice; leave your condolences or share any memories you have of him please comment on this post.
Maurice Fraser was a great professor, extremely devoted, considerate and close to students. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family. We will surely miss the presence of a truly loveable and kind person.
Your lectures, your advices, our discussions, your wonderful way of thinking, your amazing teaching are and always will be the immense intellectual and human treasure I will keep forever with me. Thank you Professor Fraser … Thank you Maurice
I totally agree with your words, Federico. We both appreciated Maurice Fraser as an outstanding professor and a gentleman. He will be missed by his former students.
I’m really crestfallen to hear this. Maurice was a total original: very charismatic, thoughtful, mischievous and totally fun. As a thinker, he was his own man but always prepared to listen, exchange and argue. I did not know him personally brilliantly well. But he always seemed to me to have an old fashioned generosity of spirit and a broad-mindedness that is increasingly rare. Early on in my career – as he did for so many others – he was always supportive and encouraging. Safe journey, Maurice and may the road rise.
I, and other Eurocrats like me, are grateful to Maurice, for it was he who gave us a role as ‘pracademics’, associating us with the European Institute he loved and we admired. As we attempted to provide meaningful contributions to student life by mentoring students, helping them with practical guidance and often career or research orientation, we were always minded that we were able to contribute because Maurice had surrounded himself with practitioners with an academic bent, some of us actually academics manqués. Maurice will be sorely missed. We hope his legacy will be a strengthened group of pracademics ready to continue making the LSE’s European Institute original, creative and fun.
I am shocked and deeply sad! As a teacher and academic adviser, he was always open minded, inspiring and as brilliant in arguing as he was in listening and encouraging to defend your point of view. The conversations we had in his old fashioned office will be unforgotten. All my thoughts are with his family. RIP Maurice!
Lectures with Maurice were always intellectually stimulating, provocative and enriching, but above all he was a great adviser – supportive and fun. Maurice will be greatly missed within the LSE community! My sincere condolences to his family. 🙁
Intellectually curious and highly skilled person in a variety of different subjects, with a warm personality. A great person and a great loss. He will be hugely missed!
He was my advisor during my masters studies at the European Institute. He was a wonderful proffessor and person. He has always been kind to me and other friends. I am deeply sad thousands of kilometers away from London. I am grateful to him for his support during my studies, the knowledge he shared, for his kindness. I learnt a lot from him in a short period of time. I was so lucky to be in his classes and to have him as my advisor. He was a wonderful advisor. He was a very open minded person, discussing political ideologies with him was great and inspring. I would never forget discussing about postmodernity, European romanticism and European identity with him. RIP Maurice.
It was a privilege and a great inspiration to be taught, supervised, challenged and advised throughout the years by Prof. Fraser. He was this rare combination of intellectual breadth, wit and humility, generosity and before and above all dedication to serve his students and the furthering of the academic inquiry and debate. I am crestfallen. A brilliant mind is lost but his legacy is strong and empowering and will continue to inspire, challenge and mentor. Thank you for living a life which enriched so many others. You left a lasting trace on the fabrics of this world. Rest in peace.
Maurice was a special sort of man, rare in the modern world. He pursued truth, erudition, and elegance in equal measure, and stood out because of this. He was a gentleman — one of the few — and he will be missed.
Maurice stood out as one of the European Institute’s most engaging professors. He will be deeply missed by many including those students who will never have the privilege to know him. I wish his family peace at this very sad time.
A shocking and untimely event. To those of us who have been writing and commenting about the EU for the past 15 years, as I have in The Economist, Maurice was an invaluable source of ideas and of historical knowledge, as well as an inspirer of Anthony Teasdale’s indispensable Penguin Companion to the European Union. I much enjoyed repaying him for some of this by giving occasional talks to his students at the LSE. We and they will miss him hugely.
Maurice was always a great person to encounter at LSE, so full of enthusiasm for his subject & always so supportive of me and my colleagues. He did so much to develop the events programme at the LSE European Institute which in turn helped promote the School as a whole. It has always been a privilege and great fun to work with Maurice, even more so when that meant having a gossip in his office about the political developments of the day both at Westminster and on Houghton Street. Condolences to his family and friends, he will be sorely missed by the LSE community.
Maurice certainly inspired students from across the globe, such as myself, with his charm, his eloquence, his helpfulness, and his detailed practical insights from the field of European politics. I will never forget him as the European gentlemen he was, and whose discourses our continent needs more than ever today.
Professor Fraser was a kind, moderate and superbly learned member of the LSE. I was only able to experience his teaching for one class, yet that one class was highly intellectually invigorating, which was in no small part due to his direction and mediation. He held the rather special ability of being both honest in his opinion and balanced in his assessment of different facts and perspectives. Rest in peace Maurice and the deepest condolences to your family and loved ones.
Maurice was one of a kind. He was certainly one of the best loved and well known of the little community of people in London, the UK and Europe more widely who take an active interest in the UK’s relationship with Europe.
He was totally irreverent without every having a bad word to say about anyone. He was extremely intelligent but self-deprecating to a fault. His work at the LSE European Institute and with Anthony Teasdale on the Penguin Guide has been a great example of what one person with a passion for a cause can do.
He will be sorely missed. His family can be extremely proud of what he achieved and the affection and high regard so many people had for him.
Adieu, Maurice. I will miss our exchanges. Your life-long European commitment and great contribution to Franco-British relations were impressive. Alas now lacking at a crucial time for the UK and the EU.
Maurice was my colleague, but he was also my friend. The course we taught together for over ten years, “The Idea of Europe”, was like a never-ending conversation, and I know how much he loved bringing new students into it. The conversation will go on, but it has lost a beautiful voice.
It’s with great sadness I read those news. I will always remember the first time I came to LSE as a Sciences Po student accepted in the double degree, and how he told us to choose the field of study we are most passionate about. Simple words, but it’s thanks to his good advice I have had the most interesting and fulfilling master’s year at LSE. It’s a great loss for the European Institute, and for LSE. My condolences to his family.
I am absolutely devastated with the news of Maurice’s passing. I saw him only a few months ago and was not aware of how ill he was at the time. Maurice was a wonderful head of the EI and he made my time at LSE a great and wonderous experience. I cannot put into words how hard this loss is on me and my colleagues. Exactly a year ago, Maurice provided his support to us as we set up the 1989 Generation Initiative and we could not have possibly done it without him. I know I speak for all of my colleagues when I say that we are deeply saddened and shaken to the core, but we will carry on with the work he believed in, keeping Maurice alive, enshrined in our minds and memory.
What a wonderful moving tribute.
I am proud to be his brother. As a child he enriched my whole being. I too miss my brother terribly.
Sorry I am so far behind the time on this – I remember how much you admired him as we struggled with your history essays.
With immense sadness we say goodbye to Maurice. As current and former students we hold dearly the memory of an exceptionally supportive and inspirational mentor, and, above all, a kind and loveable person.
Maurice was a truly original, inspiring and dedicated professor. He was extremely generous with his time – always ready to listen, to exchange ideas and to share his passion about European politics with those around him. Maurice was a great mentor and a friend. We will miss him dearly. All my thoughts are with his family. Saudade.
A very dear school friend – I so longed to catch up with you – RIP dear Maurice – I do hope Nicolette and your dear children will visit me in Scotland, one day.
So sorry to hear of Maurice’s passing. He was a lovely man, warm, always interested and interesting, and a great friend to all of us in the FCO who cared about the UK and Europe, whatever our opinions. I will miss him lots.
I chanced upon your gracious, kind, warm and heartily perceptive words you left after my only sibling’s painful passing. Way way too young.
As you so perceptively say, one could disagree with Maurice’s position, and naturally it follows the other way round. But he “debated ” the point. Never going for the messenger, but only the premise of the argument. In an almost chevalric way.
For ” when the debate is lost (so often) slander becomes the tool of the loser”. This was the antithesis of my dear brother. You captured that.
My happiest memories were of the two of us working in rather different capacites, under PM Margaret Thatcher. I was her personal /official photographer for 6 years (one of which spent at the White House) whilst Maurice was…I guess everything and anything she could need! Particularly during GE’s, but in his own way also via 3 Foreign Secretaries.
Lord Frost, thank you for your warm words. And for the assiduous hard work and dedication you have provided, most recently to this country. Ursula I met on occasion with Maurice who knew her very well. En confiance, they sparred, robustly at times. On points: He won. Always.
Bravo to you too Lord Frost!
Jason J Fraser.
Maurice was a great friend and supporter of the Centre for European Reform, ever since it was an embryonic think-tank, 20 years ago. At that time he helped to build bridges between Tory pro-Europeans, whom he knew well, and those of us who were closer to the Labour Party. He gave time and energy towards helping the launch of the CER, and he remained closely involved. My colleagues and I loved to go and talk to his Masters students because they were always so interested in the EU, and, inspired by his leadership, asked such penetrating questions.
Maurice had a very strong sense of right and wrong – he had the highest standards of integrity himself, and expected the same of others. He had quite sharp views on the Middle East – different from those of the liberal-left mainstream – and sometimes on the less-than-happy events that occurred at the LSE itself. But he always treated those he worked with, and those he taught, with tremendous kindness. He was a wonderful and generous intellectual entrepreneur, bringing together people with ideas at events and seminars; ever the gentleman, he had no desire to take the limelight for himself.
If the Tory party had not gone on that strange eurosceptic journey that it chose in the 1990s, Maurice would surely have risen to some form of high office. But I think in the end – after periods as a publisher and as a consultant with Apco – he was content to find a home at the LSE. He inspired so many generations of students. And he was happy to become a professor.
Wow Maurice. You really are amazing!
I’m soooooo proud of you. You changed so many people’s lives(mine included). And people.don’t know a tenth of what you did behind the scenes.
I miss you and love you my dearest brother.
Some of my fondest memories of the LSE European Institute are to do with Maurice Fraser, an incredibly engaging teacher, a great voice on UK-EU relations and an ever gracious man. He not only offered support to students during our year in London but was always interested in our careers after our Msc, offering support and advice. He will be sorely missed. Condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.
Thanks to Professor Fraser and his colleagues of the European Institute I had the most extraordinary time at the LSE last year that I will forever cherish. I will never forget the many debates we had about Europe and, of course, about France. Mes sincères condoléances à sa famille et à ses proches.
The 1989 Generation Initiative is deeply saddened by the passing of Maurice, who played a crucial role at the organisation’s inception. He was an outstanding ally, friend and mentor to the Initiative, whose energies and enthusiastic support paved the way for its establishment at the LSE last year. He devoted time to the Initiative and was its key facilitator, using his contacts and considerable influence to garner the support of important figures in the fields of European politics and academia. His patronage is something for which will be eternally grateful.
We hope to honor Maurice’s contribution in a number of ways in the coming months. However, for the moment, we can only deliver our deepest condolences to his family for the loss of a kind, wise and inspiring human being. Our warmest thoughts are with you.
My deepest condolensces to Maurice’s family, friends and to colleagues at the European Institute. I was never aware of how ill he was and the news of his passing left me in shock. We worked together in the School’s Literary Festival, which Maurice encouraged and supported with his usual charm and intelligence. RIP Maurice.
I met Maurice five years ago when I joined Chatham House, where he was a long-standing associate fellow of the Europe programme.
Maurice was a great friend of Chatham House, a regular fixture at our members’ events as a participant or chair, and a lively contributor to the Europe programme’s discussions. He had a bright mind and a sharp wit, was warm, eloquent and always generous with his time. He was a fierce defender of liberal values and a passionate European. He was always encouraging and supportive of me as a young researcher, and I shall miss him.
I did not know Maurice very well, but only passing encounters with him (a meeting or two, covering relatively unstimulating topics) left a strong impression on me of a number of the attributes identified by others – courtesy, real personal interest in human relations rather than simply the business of the day, and fun. I am so sorry to hear of his untimely passing.
My heart goes out to Maurice’s family at his shockingly early death. He and I first met when we both worked together as FCO Special Advisers in 1989-90. Maurice combined an unshakeable intellectual integrity with unfailing personal courtesy. He would fight his corner in debate, but attacking his opponent’s argument, never the man, and always with a scrupulous regard for the evidence. More recently it was a pleasure to have crossed paths with Maurice again, through his work at the LSE and with the Franco-British Council. In his determined, unflashy, good-humoured and civilised way, Maurice helped to build greater understanding of Europe in this country.
He was my brother Alan’s childhood friend and our paths crossed over the years in unexpected places, most recently on a Eurostar train. On a plane to Strasbourg some 35 years ago, he shared with me his passion for clouds, pointing out all the different formations. I remember he introduced me to Strasbourgeois ‘tarte flambee’ – we had a memorable meal! A committed francophile, he aways kept a wary eye on developments at the ‘alma mater’, the Lycee Francais in London. Always courteous, witty, lively and interesting, he will be much missed. Heartfelt condolences to Nicolette, the children and all the family
Re-reading my notes from Maurice’s classes, and from the many interviews he gave me on British politics after I finished my masters at the LSE and began to work as a journalist. Our politics were never the same, and it would have been so easy for him to be dismissive, or patronising: he knew so much, had such an impressive culture and was such a strong debater. And yet, Maurice never cut a conversation short, he was always ready to engage, to listen, to understand why you disagreed. Once I asked some advice from him for my research on left-wing Catholics in Italy: he replied he was no Catholic, and definitely no left-winger, but he would be happy to brush up his knowledge of Italian politics. He was always incredibly polite to everyone, and it was not just because of his British-ness: you could feel his passion for the young men and women he was teaching to, for our ideas, our naivety, our own passions. Maurice had expectations on us, wanted us to do well. A teacher, a mentor, a friend.
I first met Maurice in 1988, when we were both young political advisers in government, and we instantly became close friends. His warmth, openness, humour, generosity, intelligence, even wisdom, and sheer breadth of interests, were extraordinarily appealing and powerful. He was hugely liked by everyone he worked with. He gained the close trust and confidence of successive Foreign Secretaries – Geoffrey Howe, John Major and Douglas Hurd – becoming the longest-serving Special Adviser in the Foreign Office (1988-95), and almost certainly the one outsider who has ever come closest to the heart of power in that clannish institution. Maurice really loved the LSE and it was thus natural that, after leaving government service, his greatest professional satisfaction came from his increasingly close association with the School over the last twenty years. I know that it was a source of huge personal pride to him when he was appointed a Professor and made head of the European Institute. He also believed deeply in Britain’s engagement in Europe and in the potential of cooperation in higher education to break down barriers: the creation of the joint LSE-Sciences Po joint masters programme is thus a very fitting monument to his belief and work. It is impossible to overestimate the impact that Maurice had on those lucky enough to know him, and his loss is a huge blow to his very many friends.
Maurice became a member of the Franco-British Council in 2000 and threw himself into our work. His vital role in driving the organisation forward was recognised when he was made Vice Chair to Baroness Joyce Quin. Even when his term ended and he had to stand down, we realised we could not manage without him and he was promptly reappointed as a Trustee in 2011. Responses from members include: ‘Such a sweet, elegant and highly intelligent man’ ‘He was a very impressive, generous and kind person’ ‘What a lively, intelligent and kind figure he was, and energetic contributor to the FBC’.
Despite his busy life, Maurice was always ready to drop what he was doing and provide endless advice on guidance on the right speaker for a seminar or the most effective approach to potential funders. He also encouraged and promoted links between the FBC and the European Institute at the LSE providing venues for very successful debates such as the TTIP debate with Pascal Lamy in 2014.
The death of Maurice leaves a gaping hole in the FBC and we will miss him deeply.
Maurice brought so many good things to the LSE. He was lively, collegial and enormously generous in using his practical experience and contacts to create opportunities for colleagues, not least through the FT Business – LSE lectures. The buzz of expectation when he became Head of Department was that he would mesh his policy experience (I try not to envy the occasion when he hosted a lunch for the President of France that included Arsène Wenger) with the academic work of the European Institute. The great sadness for us all is that ill-health got in the way – and we can only imagine the sadness of his family. We shall remember Maurice with great affection.
Deeply sorry to hear that unexpected news..
Maurice was such a gracious, inspiring professor.
A real pro-European one and a great personality sharing his elaborative thoughts and valuable working experiences generously with his students. Each single conversation with him was a lesson learnt to be kept in mind. So lucky to have the privilege to be his student. A great loss and undoubtedly he will be sorely missed..but never forgotten.
My sincere condolences and thoughts to his family and children..
It is with great sadness to hear of Maurice Fraser’s passing. I will always cherish the thought-provoking debates he led on Europe. My time at the European Institute would not have been the same without the support and encouragement he offered to the LSE-Sciences Po programme, as I am sure he did for all students. My deepest condolences to his family.
I first met Maurice, through my good friend Anthony Teasdale, in the late 1980s and was charmed by his unique mixture of erudition, eclectic intellectual interests, mischievous sense of humour, integrity and enthusiasm. No discussion or conversation with Maurice was ever dull. When Maurice settled back at the LSE – for which he has for so long been such a wonderful ambassador at home and abroad – we stayed in touch and I was invited to give occasional lectures to his masters students. Then, in 2013, Maurice ‘sponsored’ my appointment as a Visiting Senior Fellow at the European Institute and thus an old friendship was more fully rekindled – alas, for too short a time. I never ceased to be impressed by the breadth and depth of Maurice’s learning, always worn lightly, and by the eclectic range of his interests (as evidenced by the range of titles on his Cowdray Street book shelves). Behind all of this was the geographic diaspora – Scotland, Greece, France, Italy, notably – that gave Maurice a unique understanding of, and love for, the European continent and for European political processes. But his first intellectual love was always for his alma mater. He worked tirelessly and with ceaseless enthusiasm for the European Institute and was extraordinarily generous with his time and energies with his students and his associates. It is hard to believe that his many friends and acquaintances will no longer benefit from Maurice’s infectious good will and constant intellectual curiosity. His passing is a terrible blow. All my deepest condolences go to his family.
I first met Maurice when we worked together in the Foreign Office. He was a wonderful colleague and a kind and generous friend. He had masses still to give and his warmth and enthusiasm will live in my memory.
I had the pleasure of working with Maurice during his time as Head of the European Institute, when I was a fundraiser in the Advancement office. He was always extremely generous with his time and support, however demanding his other commitments – nothing was ever too much trouble. I recall with fondness our conversations (and friendly disagreements) about politics and literature – the enthusiasm and intellectual curiosity others mention. His death is such a great loss to LSE and to all who have been fortunate to know him. My thoughts and deepest condolences to his family.
Maurice was a true intellectual and a man of great culture and experience. He was devoted to LSE and, more importantly, to fostering debate and learning about European politics and ideas. We will miss him greatly as a colleague. My condolences to his family and friends.
What a tremendous loss for Maurice’s family and friends, for the European Institute, for the study of European politics, and for the many lives Maurice touched with his kindness, grace, wit and critical thinking. Maurice will remain in my mind as a cornerstone of the Institute, the man always on the move with big projects and plans underway, yet also always ready to engage in discussion on almost any topic under the sun, and always with a smile. My best wishes to his family for peace and comfort in remembering all the goodness he shared with the world.
I still can’t quite believe it and Maurice will be missed by many across academia, politics and business. I first met him in 1996 when he along with others welcomed me to Apco UK, a public affairs company, where he was a senior advisor trusted by our clients, liked by his colleagues and relied upon by the management team led by Simon Milton, who died a few years ago at a young age too. We appreciated not simply his acuity and insight into difficult issues but his good humour, his openness to new and different ideas and his love of a good argument. I am not sure I ever completely understood (or maybe I have forgotten) his views on the Middle East but I remember being tested by them and enjoying testing him. In the end he found the right home and the LSE was lucky to have him – for too short a time.
As a visiting member of the EI, I always enjoyed a chat with him and his ideas. As a fellow cancer sufferer, I found him a source of support that I valued.
I was saddened to hear that of his death. I shall miss him a lot.
Maurice was a wonderful man with a sparkling intellect, who took an amazing interest in people, and pride in his students. He was a source of sage and practical advice and encouragement in my time working on UK/EU affairs. Above all, he was kind and generous with his time, network and ideas. You always left an encounter with him feeling better than you had at the start, or with a new idea or perspective. His “public” legacy is the inspiration he gave his students and so many others.
I think of Maurice as the focal point of any room. There was the style. Perhaps because I first got to know him when I was vice chair of the Franco British Council,I always saw him as ‘le gentleman anglais’ as understood by a Frenchman or a Continental: the cravats, the suede weskits, the flowing cashmere scarves, all more exotic than your modern-day English gent. And then there was the voice. In dulcet tones he’d make the most outrageous party political points round a table where the rest of us were cross- party or non-party. But he’d either win us round or inspire us to greater efforts. As an intellectual with such a solid political philosophy underpinning, and as a skilled rhetorician, he set high standards of argument.
Of his many marks on LSE, at the European Institute and more widely across the School I pick out just one. It was the way he turned the LSE public lecture series into a rivetting example of how to display the intellectual resources of a modern university in a way which enriches public life in general. The title of Professor in Practice is not always appreciated in academia. But Maurice I believe exemplified in a visionary way, why universities should create such posts.
His death at the moment that Britain is in an existential struggle over its place in Europe heightens the sense of tragedy that he should go now. It is yet another reason for those who have always seen themselves as Europeans to mourn his loss.
When I first met Maurice as a Sciences Po-LSE Dual Degree student, my first reaction was ‘he’s too British to be true’. Lecturing a class of 20 on ‘The West’ and wearing a cravat, he corresponded exactly to the image I had of a (conservative) British man. With time I discovered in him something closer to a 17th century European trying to come to terms with being born in the wrong century.
Venturing into his office, I never really knew what I would find – very loud Greek folk music, a conversation on the Italian diplomatic service, or a lecture on the undisputable superiority of dogs and Bach over cats and Mahler. We disagreed on many things (including the cat vs dog debate) but no matter how much Maurice disagreed with you, he was open to hear what you had to say and did not simply dismiss your opinion.
He was an unfailingly supportive academic supervisor, and a wonderful line manager. My thoughts go to his family in these hard times, he will be sorely missed.
I have such fond memories of Maurice, from my time as European Institute Manager. He would regularly pop in to my office for a chat, a gossip, to tell me a joke, an anecdote. Very rarely did he come in and ask me a work-related question (or if he did he would leave a long time after- after the chat, the jokes and the anecdotes). He had a great sense of humour; he was mischievous; generous; thoughtful.
He loved LSE and the EI and worked tirelessly on so many projects. He liked to have his fingers in lots of pies. He was an incredibly busy man but he still made time for everyone. Scrolling down the condolence messages here you get a feel of how wide his circle was, how many other interests he had.
The corridors of the European Institute will be a much quieter place now.
I miss you, M.
I am numbed by this news. I’ve worked closely with Maurice on various collaborative activities – mainly with Sciences Po – over the past decade. Maurice was a wonderful person and I will miss him dearly. RIP
My thoughts are with his family and friends.
So sad and shocked to hear this news. As an FT journalist I talked with Maurice over nearly three decades in and out of government – a charming, clever man whose contribution to our understanding of our own continent was remarkable. A great loss. My condolences to his family. Philip Stephens
Your message makes me feel so desperately proud of my brother. To have left such an impression on so many is so remarkable.From a man with no egoJust a depth of analytical ability that certainly left me in awe. You could never meet a kinder man.
And I can confirm that he was ALWAYS that incredible a person. From childhood to the end. And so kind and self effacing. Yet he could trounce an opposing view at the drop of a hat. If it took his fancy. Legion d’Honneur in France. Chevalier in Italy. Served 2 PM’s and 3 Foreign Secretaries in the UK. Then there are so many things he did that will always remain secret… I’m baffled how he was awarded not a dicky bird in the UK. Not that he cared less. It’s still a travesty.Moving on, I miss him terribly.Thank you all for your kind perceptive and genuine tributes to my hero. Jason Fraser.
My condolences to Maurice’s family and friends. I only knew Maurice through the Department Heads Forum. He was a charming and witty man who cared deeply about his colleagues and students. RIP.
My enduring memory of Maurice is of lively conversations about Europe, foreign policy and the LSE in his office full of eclectic pictures, books and objects that reflected his wide range of interests and experiences. He was always kind and respectful, even when sharply critical of developments that contradicted his principles. He encouraged thoughtful exchanges between academics, policy-makers and journalists that fostered better debates about Europe, and worked hard to create enduring partnerships between the LSE and other institutions. It was – and still is – a great pleasure to talk to his students in the atmosphere that he and Anthony Teasdale created of mutual respect between practitioners and academics. He is remembered so fondly in so many spheres of public life because he was so adept at bridging them.
Maurice Fraser was devoted to the LSE and his students, and helped make this School one of the world’s leading centres for debate on all things European. He was also exceptionally gracious, kind and engaging. Conversations with him could range from serious topics (the latest crisis in the EU, or the crisis of ‘the west’) to fun topics such as the relative merits of types of dogs. We will miss him greatly; my deepest condolences to his family.
Maurice was a dear colleague — such a pleasure to work with. We overlapped as Heads of Department. He always spoke his mind in a most eloquent and knowledgeable way and was a cheerful presence in the LSE. He will be so missed.
It has been a pleasure to work with Maurice on the Double Master in European Affairs. He was a lovely man, a great colleague and an enthusiastic partner for our programme. Students and colleagues will miss him greatly. My best wishes go to his family, and in particular his children, whom I have never met but heard so many lovely things about from someone who dearly loved them. I enjoyed many conversation about the complicated Franco British and Euro relationships. He was kind, fun and thoughtful. This is very sad news.
Maurice was the first LSE professor I et in school. He and Simon were standing there explaining the what the course “the idea of Europe” was about. He was my seminar teacher and he was very very helpful. i didn’t know his health condition and contacted him last year and he still helped me with my little problem. I feel warm and touched. As one of a few Chinese student in European Institute I often find Maurice want to know what Chinese people think of democracy and some western value. Though we hold different opinions the talks were alway always fun! I feel terribly sorry to hear this sad news! I like Maurice a lot, and I really really miss him. My deepest condolences to his family.
Maurice Fraser should also be remembered for his kind support to students on the European Society at LSE. He was very encouraging and always ready with suggestions of ideas to the society’s board members for those of us working on events for the society. A very inspirational man! RIP.
Utterly charming and a true gentleman. RIP.
I knew and admired Maurice for many years, from Foreign Office European work that we did together through to his LSE leadership role and his remarkably brave battle against the illness. A genuine European, to his core, and one with an ability to stand back and see the wider context. His warmth of personality and humour shone through. We have lost a genuinely civilized man and we are all the poorer for it.
Maurice and I started work at the same time at the Conservative Research Department in 1984. It was clear from the start that he was a star, not just in his intellectual ability – which was remarkable – but in his decency, kindness, gentleness and, above all, his humour. Conversations with Maurice were immensely enjoyable and hugely stretching, he offered new perspectives and inspired truly independent thinking. It was such a privilege to work with someone so extraordinary at such a formative age. I can only imagine what a fine teacher he became at the LSE. A light has gone out with his passing, but from all the marvellous tributes written here by his students whose lives he clearly touched so deeply, he leaves an enduring legacy. My thoughts and prayers are with his family of whom he was so very proud and loved so much.
I was saddened to hear the tragic news of the early death of Maurice Fraser. I saw a lot of him a few years’ ago when we were both involved in British and European politics. He was an intelligent and civilised man, who was a valuable ally in any argument and a very nice person to know. I send my condolences to all his family.
The Rt. Hon. Kenneth Clarke, CH, QC, MP
I got to know Maurice in the late 1980s when he was Special Adviser in the FCO. He was such a lovely, gentle man to work with – both knowledgeable and approachable. I learned a lot from him, about Europe and about the politics of European affairs. He had the gift of lightening the atmosphere in a room. Even when the discussion was deeply serious, he somehow made it more civilised. And he never seemed to mind being teased about his waistcoats. My thoughts are with his family.
Maurice and I were friends for many years especially during the nineties when we worked together in the European Commission in London.
Charming,sunny,a clear headed advocate of a Britain needing to come to grips with a new international order, Gay and I will remember a lively man,bubbling with fresh thoughts and always brimming with essential decency.
I have known Maurice only since 2011 when I returned to the UK after more than two decades in Japan. Our paths had not crossed before because my speciality is International Economics, heavily slanted towards International Economic Integration, with European economic integration being only a part of the latter, while Maurice’s expertise covers several aspects of Europe, most of them in completely different fields. Yet we discovered we had a lot of common ground when I and Diana, my wife, began to attend public events at the LSE and its European Institute, and more so later when we participated in the Institute’s innovative ‘EU in Practice’ seminars. We admired the way Maurice chaired the frequent LSE events, covering wide-ranging topics and book launches, and were impressed by how much he could read within an extremely short time before book launches; Norman Davies’ ‘Vanished Kingdoms’ has over 800 pages in small print and was launched just a few days after another book!
I got to know Maurice much better through two events he chaired: the German-British Association’s breakfast seminar on China as an opportunity or threat to the global community; and the panel discussion at the LSE in June 2015 on ‘Prospects for Economic Reform in Europe: What Role for Britain?’ to which he invited me as a panel member and to promote my new book, ‘The European Union Illuminated: its Nature, Importance and Future’. The first showed that his interest in Europe goes beyond the obvious. The second, his deep concern over the EU referendum, which may lead to our exit from the EU with devastating consequences for both the UK and the EU.
I should add that as we got to know each other well, Maurice told me that we had something else in common: the Greek side of his family has been in business in the Sudan, where I was born, for generations. He showed me a photo of the founder of the business with General Herbert Kitchener who won fame in 1898 for winning the Battle of Omdurman, securing British control of the Sudan after which he was given the title of ‘Lord Kitchener of Khartoum’.
Diana and I will miss Maurice greatly and extend our deepest condolences to Nicolette and their children.
Maurice’s intelligence, lively wit, and generous instincts made him one of the most lovable men I’ve had the good fortune to meet. We worked together from 1988, and always remained in touch. Few people can say, as he could, that they have excelled in not just one career, but two.
I shall miss him very much, as will everyone who knew him, and worked with him. Heartfelt sympathies to all his family and friends, at this difficult time.
To me as a foreign student who came to London, Maurice Fraser perfectly represented both the LSE and London. He was both a very likeable person and an excellent teacher. I am very sad and I wish his family all the best.
I was truly shocked to hear of Maurice Fraser’s tragic passing. Maurice and I worked together in the Conservative Research Department between 1987-9 and were both Special Advisers in the Major Government – he at the FCO and me at the NIO.
I will especially remember Maurice’s unfailing sense of humour, advice and generous support to me as a young researcher pitching up from Yorkshire for the first time in London in 1987. I have the fondest memories of the Conservative Research Department in those days and Maurice was a key part of what made it such a special place to work.
Unfortunately I was unable to attend the memorial event for Maurice last Friday, but I gather it was a very moving occasion. My sincerest condolences to all of Maurice’s family.
Lest you should fade in any way from our thoughts, as a year passes since you left us, always know you were unique, a one off, truly exceptional in so many ways words could never do you justice. We miss you terribly my lovely brother. You inspire me for one to strive to make the most of my life.
You left such a hole in our lives. I miss you so very much.
God Bless you my wonderful big brother. I burst with pride when I think of you!
All my love and more,
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