Eric Hobsbawm, one of Britain's most eminent historians, has died at the age of 95.

Daughter Julia Hobsbawm said Monday that her father died overnight at a London hospital. He had been suffering from pneumonia.

Hobsbawm was born in Alexandria, Egypt, to Jewish parents in 1917. He went to school in Berlin during the Weimar Republic, but left for Britain in 1933, on the rise of Adolf Hitler.

His experience as a schoolboy in Germany in the 1930s cemented his left-wing views. He joined the Communist Party in England in 1936 and stayed a member until 1989, though he became disillusioned with the Soviet Union, and lectured at Cambridge University and London's Birkbeck College.

In 1962, Hobsbawm published the first of three volumes covering the "long 19th century," spanning the period 1789 to 1914. A later volume, "Age of Extremes," took the story forward to 1991.

His final book, "How to Change the World," appeared in 2011.

Hobsbawm played a key role in the academic and political debates of the postwar era, notably about the Labor movement.