Terence Conran, Designer and Retail Magnate, Is Dead at 88


Credit…Jonathan Player for The New York Times

Terence Orby Conran was born on Oct. 4, 1931, in the London suburb Kingston upon Thames, to Gerard and Christina (Halstead) Conran. His father was a businessman. His mother, who had a taste for art, nurtured Terence’s creative talents. When he was 13, his left eye was permanently blinded by a sliver of metal that flew up from a lathe he was using.

He attended Bryanston, a private school in Dorset, and the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London. He did not graduate, but a teacher there, the sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi, became a lifelong friend and mentor.

His first marriage, at the age of 19 to the architect Brenda Davison, lasted six months. He and his second wife, the novelist Shirley Pearce, had two children, Sebastian and Jasper, designers who held various professional and executive positions with their father’s enterprises over the years; they were divorced in 1962. He and his third wife, the food writer Caroline Herbert, had three children, Edmund (known as Ned), Tom and Sophie, and were divorced in 1996. He married his fourth wife, Victoria Davis, in 2000.

He is survived by his wife and his children, as well as 14 grandchildren, one great-grandchild and a sister, Priscilla, a designer and restaurateur.

Credit…Press Association, via Associated Press

Mr. Conran became a disciple of Elizabeth David, whose books Europeanized British cooking. Besides design and cooking, his own books explored home furnishings, textiles, gardening and other subjects. An authorized biography, “Terence Conran,” by Nicholas Ind, was published in 1995.



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