Legendary journalist and editor Harry Gordon dies

Legendary journalist and editor Harry Gordon diesJournalist Harry Gordon died late on Wednesday surrounded by family.

Former Herald and Weekly Times editor-in-chief and Olympic historian Harry Gordon has died on Queensland’s Gold Coast at the age of 89.

An inductee into the Melbourne Press Club’s Hall of Fame, Mr Gordon had a distinguished career as a sports reporter, feature writer, war correspondent, historian and mentor. He wrote 15 books and edited Herald & Weekly Times daily newspapers in Melbourne and Brisbane for 18 years.

He had been the official historian of the Australian Olympic Committee since 1992 and had been making plans to celebrate his 90th birthday in Melbourne on November 15.

Mr Gordon died surrounded by his family on Wednesday afternoon. He had been in hospital for the past few weeks, suffering from respiratory ailments and other conditions.

AAP reports that Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates informed friends and supporters of Mr Gordon’s death ahead of the committee releasing an official statement today.

Mr Gordon’s first link to the Olympics was in 1952 when he covered the Helsinki Games, and he covered most Games afterwards.

In 2001 the International Olympic Committee awarded him its Olympic Order and the International Society of Olympic Historians Lifetime Award in 2006.

Mr Gordon was a former editor of Melbourne’s Sun News-Pictorial, editor-in-chief of both the Herald and Weekly Times (Melbourne) and Queensland Newspapers (Brisbane), and former chairman of Australian Associated Press.

He is survived by his wife Joy and children Michael, a journalist on The Age, John and Sally. The funeral service is expected to be held on the Gold Coast before a memorial service in Melbourne.

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1 comment

  1. Harry Gordon was godfather to a generation of journalists who got their start in the early 1970s. He was my first editor in 1971 and my first mentor. At 22 he sent me to London for the HWT, telling me much later he had “taken a punt”. His confidence and backing had a profound influence on the rest of my career. On my retirement in 2013 I was pleased to be able to thank him for changing my life. In my eyes, Harry Gordon was an exemplar and a true giant of Australian journalism.

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