Some of Leicesters’ Famous Sons & Daughters
Daniel Lambert - Born 1770. Died 1809
Leicester's largest son
Lambert was a Leicester man who became famous for his obesity. At the time of his death, his weight was a massive 53 stone and his waist measurement was over nine feet. During his life he had become quite a personality, and was used in a cartoon as an emblem for a hearty Britain against the threat of Napoleon.
Nathaniel Corah - Born 1777. Died 1832
Framesmith, manufacturer, entrepreneur
Founder of N. Corah & Sons, once the largest knitwear producer in Europe, Nathaniel Corah was born in Leicestershire and trained as a framesmith. He first produced garments on a knitting frame on his farm. From 1815 he built a business buying locally produced textiles in Leicester and trading them in Birmingham. The business expanded rapidly and eventually moved to the famous St Margaret’s Works site. By 1866 over one thousand people were employed at St Margaret’s Works.
Thomas Cook - Born 1808. Died 1892
Founder of Thomas Cook & Son
In 1841 Thomas Cook organised the world's first advertised package tour from Leicester to Loughborough. By 1888, the company had established offices around the world. Thomas Cook moved back to Leicestershire when he retired and lived here until his death.
Henry Curry - Born 1850
Founder of electrical retailer Currys
Henry Curry was born in 1850 in Leicester, and founded Currys electrical stores. He began by building bicycles full-time in a shed at the back of his garden on Painter Street in Leicester. He opened his first store on Belgrave Gate. From this small enterprise grew Currys, the national electrical retail chain, which was still selling bicycles until the1960s.
Lawrence Wright (Horatio Nicholls)-Born 1888. Died 1964.
Composer and publisher of popular songs
Lawrence Wright was a composer of popular music born in Leicester. In 1906 he rented a shop on Lower Conduit Street and the Wright Music Company was established. Success followed and, by 1912, Wright had established his music publishing business in London. He wrote more than 600 songs during his career, mostly under his pen name of Horatio Nicholls. His most famous tune is 'Among My Souvenirs': this has been recorded by many artists, including Hoagie Carmichael, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Connie Francis. He was presented with an Ivor Novello Award in 1962 for 'outstanding service to British popular and light music'.
Una Stubbs - Born 1937
Actress and dancer
Born in Leicestershire, Stubbs has appeared extensively on British television and in the theatre, and less frequently in films.
She is particularly known for playing Rita in the sitcom 'Till Death Us Do Part.
Ed McLachlan - Born 1940.
Ed McLachlan is a British Cartoonist from Leicester. He was educated at Humberstone Junior School before attending Wyggeston Grammar School and, from 1956 to 1959, Leicester College of Art. Having been employed by companies such as Wintertons printers, Cadburys and Gayton Advertising, McLachlan went self-employed 1966 and is still working now. He has been named Cartoonist of the Year five times and won a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012
Graham Chapman - Born 1941. Died 1989
Comedian, writer and actor
Chapman was born in Stoneygate, Leicester and was educated at Melton Mowbray Grammar School. He went on to study medicine at Emmanuel College, Cambridge where he also joined Footlights, a comedy group whose other members included Bill Oddie and John Cleese. With John Cleese, Chapman wrote for the BBC during the 1960s. In 1969 with Cleese he joined Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Eric Idle and Terry Gilliam for Monty Python's Flying Circus.
Jenny Pitman, OBE - Born 1946
Jenny Pitman was born and grew up on her family's farm near Hoby, in Leicestershire. She became the first woman to train a Grand National winner in 1983
Phil Oakey - Born 1955
Composer, singer, songwriter and producer
Phil Oakey, born in Leicestershire, in 1955, is best known for being the lead singer of band The Human League.
Parminder Nagra - Born 1975
Film and televison actress Parminder Nagra was born and raised in Leicester and is best known for her starring role in the film 'Bend It Like Beckham' (2002), which was the breakthrough film both for her and Keira Knightly. The success of the movie in the U.S led her to a part in America's medical drama 'ER'
Image: Daniel Lambert