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Bea Campbell and Claire Rayner debate his legacy
"He helped to change the way sex was talked about"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 28 March, 2000, 07:32 GMT 08:32 UK
Joy of Sex author dies
Bookshop
The Joy of Sex became a best-seller around the world
The man who wrote the best-selling book The Joy of Sex has died at the age of 80.

Dr Alex Comfort published the book in 1972, propelling him to worldwide fame and notoriety.

It sold 12 million copies around the world and was translated into more than 20 languages.

The book was illustrated with line drawings, and was billed as the "gourmet guide to love-making."

He had already written a forerunner to the best-seller, Sex and Society, which was published in 1963.

Poetry

The two volumes prompted accusations that he was encouraging promiscuity, which his supporters denied.

As well as the controversial books for which he became best known, Dr Comfort produced about 50 other works.

They included volumes of poetry, novels, scientific text books and studies of Oriental philosophy.

As well as being known as an academic and writer, Dr Comfort also campaigned against nuclear weapons.

Hospital

He had been a leading anarchist, pacifist and a member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and was a conscientious objector during World War II.

Dr Comfort died on Sunday in Horton Hospital in Oxfordshire.

He had suffered a series of strokes in the past nine years and had been living in a nursing home in Chacombe, Northamptonshire.

Dr Comfort's first marriage ended in divorce. His second wife died in 1991.

He leaves a son by his first marriage - journalist and political consultant Nick Comfort - and three grandchildren.

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