Professor Michael Banton died in May 2018 aged 91. His long career involved a decade at the University of Edinburgh in the Department of Social Anthropology before spending the rest of his career at the University of Bristol. In Bristol he was Professor of Sociology (1965–1992) and subsequently Emeritus Professor, during which time he remained deeply engaged in scholarly research and publication (see Obituaries). It seems a fitting tribute, in the digital age, that electronic technologies provide a means to celebrate his having been the first editor of this journal, Sociology, between 1967 and 1969. In its series of e-Special Issues, Sociology collects together articles published in previous volumes of the journal. The eight e-Specials which have appeared so far have been thematically focused on the following topics: race and racism; trends and challenges in sociological research; Sociology in the 21st century; self-identity; gender; social class; families and relationships; and social movements. This e-Special is slightly different in that it commemorates the work of Michael Banton as scholar and journal editor. We have collected together the four scholarly articles which he contributed himself during his career. (In the early years, when copy for the journal was scarce, he also contributed commentaries and reviews.) The other material included consists of a selection of articles published during his editorship of Sociology. The articles chosen reflect the heterogeneity and diversity of the work emerging in the earliest years of the journal when there were few professional sociologists working in universities. In tone and content, we detect connections to contemporary activities and concerns, but there is much that feels unfamiliar about the editions of the 1960s.