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Wednesday, 17 November, 1999, 15:30 GMT
Dyslexic pensioner wins PhD
Jack Ward with his wife Audrey after receiving his PhD

A pensioner who left school unable to read or write has become a doctor of philosophy at the age of 75.

Jack Ward, who suffers from dyslexia, was branded a dunce at junior school because his condition was not recognised.

He was later taught to read and write by his wife Audrey, and then attended night school.

On Wednesday he received his PhD from Sheffield Hallam University, after carrying out research into heat pumps at the school of engineering.

He is thought to be the oldest person to achieve a PhD at the university.

'Proud'

Dr Ward, who lives in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, resumed his academic studies after retiring from his job at the government's Property Services Agency. He even continued them after suffering a stroke.

Academics at the university have praised his achievements, but Mr Ward, who has five grandchildren, is giving all the credit to his wife.

"Audrey taught me to read and write and thanks to her my education has seemed to go on all my life. If you're doing something positive and hopefully of benefit to others, you can just keep going," he said.

Mr Ward's daughter Sally Radford, a biochemist, said: "We are all incredibly proud of him. My daughters and my sister's children, who are all quite small, think it's great, but they can't understand why he's a doctor but can't make people better."

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See also:
21 Sep 99 |  Education
Pensioner struggles with university fees
28 Apr 99 |  Education
Rise in older students
27 Oct 99 |  Education
Early detection vital for dyslexia
07 Sep 99 |  Education
State schools 'failing dyslexics'
07 Sep 99 |  Health
Scientists identify dyslexia gene

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