Father of the Test Tube Baby Dies: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

robert edwards dies IVF

In vitro fertilization pioneer Robert Edwards died today in his sleep at age 87. Here’s what you should know about the scientist responsible for millions of new lives.

1. He Was the Father of the Test Tube Baby

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Partnering with Dr. Patrick Steptoe, Edwards’ research surrounding in vitro fertilization led to the world’s first test-tube baby born in 1978. The child’s name was Louise Brown. Edwards founded the first IVF clinic in 1980 in the town of Cambridge, England.

2. He Won a Nobel Prize

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It took a few decades, but in 2010 Edwards was honored with a Nobel in medicine for his work in IVF.

3. He Was a Knight

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Edwards was knighted in in 2011 and henceforth known as Sir Robert Edwards.

4. 5 Million Kids Owe Their Lives to Him

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Some 5 million IVF babies have been born since Edwards’ breakthrough.

5. He Was One of the World’s 100 Top Geniuses

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In a 2007 list compiled by Creators Synectics, Edwards was named one of the world’s top living geniuses based on criteria including: “paradigm shifting; popular acclaim; intellectual power; achievement and cultural importance.”