The world's first "test tube baby" has paid tribute to IVF pioneer Professor Sir Robert Edwards saying that his "legacy will live on" after he died today aged 87.
Louise Brown, who was born on July 25, 1978 thanks to Sir Robert's work, said she thought of him as a "grandfather."
ITV News' Neil Connery reports:
Since her birth, more than five million babies have been conceived and delivered around the world using In-Vitro Fertilisation techniques.
His colleague gynaecologist Patrick Steptoe, with whom he developed IVF treatment in the 1960s and 1970s, died in 1988.
Sir Robert, who was knighted in 2011 the year after receiving a Nobel prize, died after a "long illness", his family said.
Ms Brown paid tribute to Sir Robert today, saying:
Sir Robert and colleagues at Cambridge University succeeded in fertilising the human egg outside the body in 1969, which laid the foundations for Ms Brown's birth in 1978.
Edwards and Steptoe conducted their research in the face of hostile opposition from church leaders, governments, and sections of the media, and skepticism from scientific colleagues.
The pair struggled to raise funds and had to rely on private donations but doggedly continued until their first success.
The two men went on to found Bourn Hall, the world's first IVF clinic, in Cambridge.