David Lee studied at the London School of Economics and at the Universities of Liverpool and Birmingham. He held lectureships in sociology at the University of Sheffield and Essex and became Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Essex in 1977. He has written numerous articles on education, training, skill and occupational stratification and was the author (with Howard Newby) of The Problem of Sociology (1982) and (with Dennis Marsden, Jean Duncombe and Penny Rickman) of Scheming for Youth (1990). He contributed over eighty entries to the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Sociology (1994). He is now retired and able to treat sociology as an occasional hobby.