Raymond Williams, the son of a railway signalman, was born in Wales in 1921. Educated at Abergavenny Grammar School and Trinity College, Cambridge, his studies were interrupted by the Second World War. He joined the British Army and saw service as an anti-tank captain.
After the war he worked in adult education before becoming a lecturer at Cambridge University. A socialist, in the 1950s he joined forces with E. P. Thompson, Raphael Samuel, Ralph Miliband, Stuart Hall and John Saville to launch two radical journals, The New Reasoner and the New Left Review.
Williams wrote extensively about the history of culture. Books by Williams include Culture and Society 1780-1960 (1958), The Long Revolution (1961), Keywords (1976), Communications (1962), Second Generation (1964), Orwell (1971), The Country and the City (1973), Television: Technology and Cultural Form (1974), Marxism and Literature(1977), The Volunteers (1978), Problems in Materialism and Culture (1980), Culture (1981), Writings in Society (1983) and Loyalties (1985).
Raymond Williams died in 1988.