Dr. Rachel Owen, Longtime Partner of Radiohead's Thom Yorke, Dies at 48

by Paul Cashmere, Noise11

Thom Yorke’s partner of 20 years, Dr Rachel Owen, has died from cancer at the age of 48.

Dr Owen, the mother of Yorke’s two children, Noah, 15 and Agnes, 12, died on Sunday, December 18.

Rachel Owen was a lecturer in Italian at Pembroke College in Oxford. In her obituary, the college posted

Dr Owen was an internationally renowned artist – mixing photography and printmaking – and at the same time a scholar in medieval Italian literature. As Retained Lecturer, she used to teach Dante’s Divine Comedy to Pembroke’s finalists in Italian.

Dr Owen’s parallel passion for art and literature was already established in her university years at Exeter, where she studied Italian and Fine Art. She then moved to Royal Holloway, London, where she completed a PhD on the illustrations of the early manuscripts of Dante’s Divine Comedy.

Each year, her Pembroke students enjoyed the pleasure and the privilege of a guided tour through the manuscripts of the Divine Comedy held at the Bodleian Library.

Despite her declining health from cancer in the last year, she asked to continue to teach, which she did right until the end of last Michaelmas term.

Yorke and Owen split in August 2015 after 23 years together. Their relationship inspired the songs on Radiohead’s most recent album A Moon Shaped Pool.




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