In Memory of Professor Anthony J Hedley (1941-2014)


Dear Colleagues, Students, Alumni and Friends,

It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing away of Professor Anthony J. Hedley, Emeritus Professor of the School of Public Health, on Friday early morning, 19 December 2014, in the Isle of Man, United Kingdom.

Professor Hedley was trained in the medical schools of Aberdeen and Edinburgh universities. He obtained his MD by research and was inducted as a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal College of Physicians (UK) in 1981. Professor Hedley worked in general medicine, geriatrics, endocrinology and diabetes in Aberdeen, Dundee and Nottingham before moving into the field of epidemiology and public health.

Formerly Henry Mechan Professor of Public Health at the University of Glasgow from 1983 to 1988, Professor Hedley joined the University of Hong Kong in 1988 as Chair Professor of Community Medicine, a post that he had held until his retirement in 2010. Between 1988 to 2000, Professor Hedley was Head of the Department of Community Medicine, predecessor of the School of Public Health. In recognition of his outstanding contributions to public health, Professor Hedley received a World Health Organization Medal and the HKSAR Bronze Bauhinia Star in 1999 and 2000 respectively.

As a polymath in public health, Professor Hedley's work spanned a wide spectrum of issues ranging from air pollution, tobacco control and life-course epidemiology and health services research and the control of infectious disease. On 8 December 2014, the School of Public Health hosted the Fourth Hong Kong Public Health Forum with the theme on "The Role of the Generalist - A Tribute to Professor Anthony J Hedley" in celebration of Professor Hedley's significant contributions to the city of Hong Kong and to the art and science of public health globally. "Tony is a generalist with a strategic command of the full ecoscape of all that matters to population health, but one who can at once become a competent, even expert, specialist in a specific area when called upon", said Professor Gabriel Leung, Dean of Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, in The Anthony Hedley Lecture on "The Last Great Public Health Polymath?" at the said Forum. The School was grateful that Professor Hedley had personally participated in this Forum in his honour, an event attended by many of his colleagues, associates, trainees, students and friends. The memory of this occasion would be dearly cherished by his family and all members of the School.

The School of Public Health of LKS Faculty of Medicine offers its heartfelt condolences to Professor Hedley's family, friends, students and colleagues. Professor Hedley's valuable contributions to the public health profession and medical education in Hong Kong will long be remembered and appreciated, and he will continue to be a shining example to public health practitioners for generations to come.

If you wish to send your condolences to Professor Hedley's family, or have thoughts, anecdotes or reminiscences about him, please post a message at the online book of condolences at A memorial service in his memory will be held at the University, with details to be announced shortly.



School of Public Health

Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine

The University of Hong Kong