Edward de Bono, the academic and doctor who developed global fame for his thinking methods, died on Wednesday. He was 88.

De Bono, who held faculty appointments at Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard universities and served as professor at many others, was an authority on creative thinking with an interest in the mind and its method of organising information.

A term he originated, lateral thinking, now forms part of the Oxford English Dictionary.

Born in 1933 and educated at St Edward’s College, de Bono graduated as a doctor from the University of Malta before studying physiology and psychology at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and a Phd at Cambridge.

De Bono’s more than 85 books were translated into 46 languages, and his Six Thinking Hats method was taught across continents.  

“Edward de Bono lived an extraordinary life, inspiring, encouraging and enabling us to be better and more creative thinkers,” said a post on his website that announced his death.

De Bono had an institute named in his honour at the University of Malta, and served as a visiting professor there.

"Prof. de Bono will be remembered across the globe as an expert in creativity. It is a privilege for us as an institute to continue to promote his methods, which are very important in every area of life, and thus continue to commemorate and honour his memory," said Leonie Baldacchino, director at the Edward de Bono Institute for Creative Thinking.

De Bono was the son of Joseph de Bono a professor of medicine and of Josephine Burns de Bono, one of three women credited with campaigning for the introduction of the vote for women – the others being Mabel Strickland and Agatha Barbara. 

His funeral will be held in Malta, with a memorial at a later date in the UK.

Quotes from Edward de Bono

  • “An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.” 
  • “The quality of our thinking will determine the quality of our future.”  
  • “Creativity is a great motivator because it makes people interested in what they are doing. Creativity gives hope that there can be a worthwhile idea. Creativity gives the possibility of some sort of achievement to everyone. Creativity makes life more fun and more interesting.”  

'He made Malta proud'

Prime Minister Robert Abela in a tribute on Twitter recalled that Edward de Bono once said that a memory is what is left when something happens and does not unhappen.

"We may have lost his physical presence but his thinking will continue to inspire us to do better," Abela wrote.

Opposition leader Bernard Grech said de Bono had made Malta proud. 

“Professor Edward de Bono made a name not just for himself but also for the country he loved so much.”

He observed that de Bono had left an impact on methods of thinking, particularly in the creative way. His legacy would survive in the studies of thousands of students around the world and in the lives of all those who employed his concepts in everyday life.

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