Journalist Harold Evans, former editor-in-chief of Reuters and the UK Sunday Times, dies at the age of 92

Sir Harold Evans, the Crusade editor often referred to as the greatest newspaper man on Fleet Street, had died at the age of 92.

In his 70-year career, he exposed misconduct around the world. Its most famous light shed light on the plight of hundreds of British thalidomide children to ultimately bring drug companies to justice.

Sir Harold's other work as a magazine founder, book publisher and author made him one of the most influential media figures of his generation.

His devoted wife Tina Brown said he died of heart failure in New York.

As a former editor of the UK Sunday Times and after his death as editor-in-chief of Reuters, Evans made a unique mark on investigative journalism.

He stood up for issues that were overlooked or rejected, exposed human rights violations and political scandals with his team, and advocated a policy of clean air.

Sir Harold Evans, a British-American editor, died Wednesday of heart failure in New York at the age of 92

Harold Evans, pictured with his wife Tina Brown, moved to the United States in the 1980s

One of his most famous researches exposed the plight of hundreds of British thalidomide children who had never received compensation for their birth defects.

Evans organized a campaign against the pharmaceutical companies responsible for manufacturing the drug, which after more than a decade finally received compensation for the families.

"I was just trying to shed some light on it," Evans said in a 2014 interview with the Independent. "And if that light makes weeds grow, we have to try to pull it up."

After 14 years with the Sunday Times, Evans became editor of the Times of London shortly after media mogul Rupert Murdoch bought the paper in 1981. Evans left the company a year later in a dispute with Murdoch over editorial independence.

A few years later, Evans moved to the United States with Brown, the journalist and editor he was married to for almost 40 years. He continued his career as an author, publisher and university lecturer. He wrote several books including "The American Century" (1998) and its sequel, "They Made America" ​​(2004), and an ode to good writing called "Do I Make Myself Clear?" (2017).

It has been the subject of books and documentaries, including "Attacking The Devil: Harold Evans and the Final Nazi War Crime" (2014), about the Thalidomide campaign.

Evans founded Conde Nast Traveler magazine and was President and Editor of Random House from 1990 to 1997.

Under his leadership, Random House achieved a variety of publishing successes including the best-selling Primary Colors, a satire on Anonymous's Bill Clinton, later known as journalist Joe Klein, and Colin Powell's My American Journey.


Evans was born into what he described as the "respectable working class" family. When he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 2004 for his services to British journalism, he received one of the highest honors in the British monarchy. Two years earlier, he was named the greatest newspaper editor of all time in a poll by the British Press Gazette and the British Journalism Review.

Evans joined Reuters in 2011. In his role as Editor-in-Chief, Evans moderated discussions with global business and political news makers including Tony Blair, Mark Cuban, Al Gore, John Kerry, Henry Kissinger, Jim Mattis and Satya Nadella.

Evans became editor of the national weekly Sunday Times in 1967 and made it an example of investigative journalism with reports from the Insight team

Evans became editor of the national weekly Sunday Times in 1967 and made it an example of investigative journalism with reports from the Insight team

Harry Evans was an inspiration not only as a great journalist but also as a great man. He had an insatiable mind, extraordinary tenacity, high principle and a generous heart, ”said Stephen J. Adler, editor-in-chief of Reuters.

Evans had a sense of humor too. "Editor-at-Large means you can wreak as much chaos as you can tolerate," Evans was quoted as saying by the Financial Times.

& # 39; He was the inventor of team journalism. In the editorial chair, he was a human dynamo, setting up such a stream of powerful stories and campaigns that his rivals (I was one) found it hard to keep up, ”wrote Donald Trelford, former editor of Observer A Review by Evans & # 39 ; Released memoir in 2009 entitled "My Paper Chase: True Stories of Lost Times".

Harold Matthew Evans was born on June 28, 1928 in Greater Manchester, England, the son of a train driver.

He entered journalism the traditional way, taking his first reporting job at a weekly newspaper at the age of 16. He then studied at Durham University.

After completing his military service and master's degree, Evans became an assistant editor for the Manchester Evening News.

In 1961 he was named editor of the Northern Echo and developed his reputation as a relentless journalist with campaigns against air pollution and for a national program to detect cervical cancer, an initiative that still saves thousands of lives each year.

Evans became the editor of the national weekly Sunday Times in 1967 and made it an example of investigative journalism with reports from the Insight team.


In 1967, the Sunday Times not only helped obtain compensation for Britons who suffered birth defects from thalidomide, a drug used for the treatment of pregnancy diseases, it also published a disclosure of senior British intelligence officer Kim Philby's decades as a Soviet spy, despite British objections Government that the report would endanger national security.

When Murdoch bought the Sunday Times and Times of London from Thomson Corp in 1981, he hired Evans to publish the Times, but the relationship quickly turned – and stayed – angry. Evans said the UK government allowed Murdoch to buy the Times newspapers on promises he made to maintain editorial independence.

"He broke them all within a year," Evans said in a 2013 Reuters interview.

He said his own writings on then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher caused the rift with Murdoch.

"When it started dismantling the UK economy, the Sunday Times was the most convincing critic of the policy …" he told the Independent. “I wrote 70 percent of this review myself. When I became the editor of the Times, I continued to criticize monetarism. & # 39;

Evans moved to the United States with his wife, Tina Brown when she became editor of Vanity Fair in the 1980s and later New Yorker, before co-founding the Daily Beast in 2008

Evans moved to the United States with his wife, Tina Brown when she became editor of Vanity Fair in the 1980s and later New Yorker, before co-founding the Daily Beast in 2008

Within a year, Evans was ousted from the Times in what he called "the saddest moment of my life". Murdoch said he took the step to stave off a staff riot and insisted he never tried to dictate newspaper policy.

That same year Evans married Brown in New York. The two had met in 1973 when she was a writer for the Sunday Times.

In 1984 Evans and Brown moved to the United States, where he taught at Duke University in North Carolina and later held various positions with US news and news agencies. World Report, Atlantic Monthly, and New York Daily News among others.

Brown had published The Tatler magazine in London. In America, she became the editor of Vanity Fair magazine and later the New Yorker before co-founding the Daily Beast News website in 2008. Evans became a US citizen in 1993 and Brown followed in 2005.

In addition to his wife, Evans left behind his children Isabel, Georgie, Ruth, Michael and Kate Evans, grandchildren Anna and Emily Vanderpool and brother Peter Evans. His first wife, Enid, whom he divorced in 1978, died in 2013.

Adler said, “I am so grateful that Harry has become my mentor and friend, and all of us at Reuters are blessed to have worked with and learned from him over the past 10 years. His example will continue to guide us. & # 39;

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