The 2014 Richard Doll Prize has been awarded to Richard Peto from the University of Oxford, in recognition of his highly original innovations in the methodology of multi-centric observational studies and randomized trials that have rapidly translated into studies advancing knowledge directly relevant to the prevention and treatment of cancers and cardiovascular diseases. Peto’s methodological innovations – including log rank-based meta-analyses, regression dilution and mega-studies – are now standard tools in epidemiology. He developed and applied novel methods for analyses and meta-analyses of trials, thus generating large-scale randomized evidence in breast cancer and vascular disease that significantly affected national mortality trends in many countries. His work helped quantify major avoidable causes of death, including blood pressure, blood lipids and, particularly, tobacco. In addition to analyzing existing studies, he helped initiate, with local colleagues, the first large prospective studies of tobacco consumption in China, Russia, and Latin America. His studies demonstrated the full worldwide hazards of prolonged smoking, greatly increased the demonstrated benefits of cessation, and estimated the past and future global epidemic of smoking-attributed deaths, thereby strongly influencing global public health policy. The prize will be awarded during the next World Congress of Epidemiology which will take place in Anchorage, USA, from 17-21 August 2014.