Philip Geoffrey Saffman was born in Leeds on 19 March 1931 and died in Pasadena, California, on 17 August 2008. During an academic career lasting just over 40 years he became a world-renowned fluid dynamicist and applied mathematician. After completing his PhD in 1956, and a brief spell as a lecturer at Cambridge, he joined King’s College, London, as a reader before moving to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 1964 as a professor. He was to remain there for the rest of his career, retiring in 1998. His death followed 10 years later, after an extended illness.
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