Abdus Salam was one of the most prolific and exciting scientists of the second half of the last century. From humble beginnings in a village in Pakistan, he rose to become one of the world's most original and influential particle physicists. He shared the 1979 Nobel Prize with Glashow and Weinberg for contributions to electroweak unification, which forms an integral part of the Standard Model. He was the first Pakistani Nobel Laureate and the second only Muslim after Anwar Sadat. After gaining his doctorate in Cambridge, he moved to Imperial College in 1957 where he founded the very successful Theoretical High Energy Physics Group. He remained there as Professor of Physics until his death in 1996.
Salam believed that "scientific thought is the common heritage of all mankind" and that the developing world should play its part, not merely by importing technology but by being the arbiter of its own scientific destiny. In 1964, he founded the ICTP in Trieste, where thousands of scientists from developing countries have been trained and to which many would return as visitors to benefit from its top-class research environment. With his boundless energy, he was engaged in so many more aspects of science and education but also in the political arena: a strong voice from the developing world with a base in the Western world that could not be ignored. Abdus Salam was a visionary, a cultural amphibian, equally at home in the developing world and on the global stage.