Monday, 10 Jan 2011
Sir John Sorrell
Sir John Sorrell - Business Ambassador Profile
Chief Executive - Chairman, London Design Festival & Co-Chair The Sorrell Foundation
John Sorrell was born in London in 1945. He went to Saturday morning classes at Hornsey College of Art when he was 14 and later studied art and design there full-time. He set up his first business when he was 19 and during his career of more than 40 years he founded and ran, with his wife Frances, one of Europe’s biggest and most successful design businesses, Newell and Sorrell, chaired both of the UK’s public design bodies (The Design Council and the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment - CABE ), originated and developed the London Design Festival and, again with Frances, set up the Sorrell Foundation, which works with thousands of young people each year to inspire their creativity and give them life and work skills.
John was appointed CBE in 1996 and was awarded the Royal Society of Arts Bicentenary Medal in 1998. He holds four Honorary Design Doctorates, an Honorary Design Fellowship, is an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy and was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2002. John was awarded a Knighthood in the 2008 New Year Honours List `for services to the Creative Industries’. His book, `Creative Island’ (2002), features inspired design from Great Britain. A new edition, `Creative Island II’, was published in October 2009.
John is married to Frances Sorrell (née Newell) and they have three children. His interests include art, ideas and Arsenal Football Club.