Philip Pullman, who has published over twenty books, received the rare honour in a ceremony at the Town Hall in Oxford on Wednesday 24 January 2007.
The Lord Mayor, Councillor Jim Campbell, said: “Oxford has an astonishingly rich tradition of children's story telling, and Philip Pullman is a worthy successor to Lewis Carroll and C S Lewis.
“His Dark Materials is one of the finest imaginative works in English. While it creates and explores new worlds and new systems its roots are in Oxford and we are pleased to be able to confer the freedom of the city on someone who has given so much enjoyment to children, and adults, all over the world.”
Philip Pullman, who lives in Cumnor, said: “I am delighted and honoured to receive the Freedom of Oxford, the city which has been the inspiration for a great deal of my work.
“Oxford is a city that’s steeped in storytelling. It’s a place where the past and the present jostle each other on the pavement, and while of course that’s true of many cities in Britain, Oxford does seem to have a few extra dimensions in some strange way.
“I am immensely gratified that the city I’ve made my home has found my work worth rewarding, and very proud to receive an honour whose history goes back to the craftsmen and merchants of the Middle Ages, and which is held by a few very distinguished people of today.”
There is only a small number of people who have been given the award including Sir Roger Bannister, Nelson Mandela, author Colin Dexter and Burmese human rights campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi.