John Mackintosh was born in Simla, India, and first came to Edinburgh at the age of eleven. He went on to study History at the University of Edinburgh (1946-50) before reading Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Balliol College, Oxford (1950-2). The following year he achieved a postgraduate degree from Princeton University. His seminal thesis, ‘The British Cabinet’, was published in 1962 and he became a Labour M.P. for Berwick and East Lothian in 1966. Mackintosh balanced his academic career as a lecturer alongside his duties in the House of Commons and in 1977 became Chair and Professor of Politics at the University of Edinburgh. A strong supporter of the devolution of Scotland, a quote by Mackintosh is now engraved on the threshold of the Donald Dewar Room at the Holyrood Parliament.