Landmark Architect and friend of powermongers

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The Independent Online
BORN in Florence, educated at public school, Richard Rogers rediscovered Italy while doing national service and is arguably one of the most important architects of the late 20th century.

That alone would be a hard-to-match CV, but Lord Rogers of Riverside could add effortlessly to the list. He is the co-owner of the rather fashionable River Cafe restaurant, in west London, which his wife Ruthie runs with Rose Gray; he is a close friend of both Tony Blair and John Prescott and an oft-named contender for Mayor of London. Oh, and he's an habitual wearer of red socks.

Lord Rogers is obviously best known for his architecture - the Lloyd's building, the Pompidou Centre in Paris and the Millennium Dome, are all his creations. It is not bad for someone who at school was considered stupid because of their wrongly diagnosed dyslexia and who was advised to join the South African police force as a career. But Lord Rogers is not a figure without controversy. Not everyone admires his designs and not everyone appreciates his close links with Labour's powermongers. And at the moment he is out of favour with Parisians: the Pompidou centre is closed for repairs.

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