David Held, one of the most creative and prolific political sociologists of our times, died suddenly of cancer in March, 2019. Born in London and the son of German refugees escaping Nazism, he studied at Manchester, MIT, and Cambridge. Held then obtained teaching posts at Cardiff and York, and a chair in Politics and Sociology at the Open University, the UK’s innovative distance-learning university established in the 1960s by Prime Minister Harold Wilson and which became a centre of critical thought in the social sciences. In 1980, Held published the first substantial book on Frankfurt critical theory1 in English. In 1982, with John Thompson, another Cambridge sociologist, Held published an edited book of essays on Habermas by leading scholars from across the world including the editors themselves, and is a publication which remains a fundamental resource on Habermas’s early work.2 Held continued to be deeply influenced by Habermasian critical theory as he began a vast series of authored, co-authored, and edited books on democratic theory and practice. In 1984, he co-founded Polity Press with Anthony Giddens and John Thompson. Polity rapidly became, and remains, one of the leading UK publishers in the social sciences and cultural studies, including a very active translation programme of books from Europe and elsewhere.