Obituary: Clifford Graham

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THE description of Clifford Graham's complex and enigmatic character in the obituary by Peter Simpson (17 August), reminded me of the remarkable contrasts between the personae Graham presented at our first two meetings, writes Professor Harold Baum.

I first met him when details were being finalised of his secondment to King's College, to head our new Institute of Health. He was almost a caricature out of Yes Minister; the silky-tongued senior civil servant, charmingly dynamic, but totally bamboozling. I was convinced by the impressionistic vision he had painted, but not totally sure what I had agreed to.

It transpired that the institute and its nascent initiatives - particularly the mould-breaking Centre for Mental Health Services Development - were to be part of the School of Life, Basic Medical and Health Sciences, of which I was head.

When later on, Cliff Graham came to see me to sort out details of these arrangements, I met a highly principled, boyish enthusiast, with an impish sense of humour, a great gift of generous friendship, a wicked relish for 'networking'; and a brilliant conversationalist. He never wanted glory for himself - he wanted to spin a web between friends.