Harry Evans


Harold Evans, Editor at Large of The Week Magazine, is the author of They Made America: From the Steam Engine to the Search Engine: Two Centuries of Innovators. The five years of research and writing were supported by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, who also joined in sponsorship of the four-part PBS series based on the book with the Kauffman Foundation, the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation and Olympus. For the first installment in the series Evans was nominated for an award by the Writers' Guild for "the outstanding script of 2004 in the category of documentary, other than current affairs."

Little, Brown and Company (a division of Time Warner Trade Publishing), which acquired world rights to Evans' They Made America, a major history of American business innovators, will also be the publisher of the final book in Evans' trilogy documenting 200 years of America's political and business history. A prequel to the critically acclaimed The American Century (Knopf, 1998), its provisional title is We the People, covering the period from the Revolution to 1889.

Evans was the President and Publisher of Random House trade group from 1990-1997. From 1997-1999 he was Editorial Director and Vice Chairman of U.S. News & World Report, the New York Daily News, The Atlantic Monthly and Fast Company, a position from which he resigned in January 2000 to begin full-time work on major writing and television projects following up on the bestseller success of The American Century. (Evans remains a Contributing Editor at U.S. News & World Report). In 2002, The Freedom Forum invited Evans to be the guest curator of its Newseum exhibition "War Stories: Reporting in the Time of Conflict" and subsequently he wrote a monograph entitled War Stories: Reporting in the Time of Conflict From the Crimea to Iraq (Bunker Hill Publishing).

Before moving to the United States, Evans was the editor of The Sunday Times from 1967 to 1981, and editor of The Times from 1981 to 1982. His account of these years was published in his best-selling book Good Times, Bad Times. Evans ended his year at The Times shortly after being named Editor of the Year by Granada Television's What the Papers Say. In his editing years, he wrote a five-volume manual entitled Editing and Design, which became the standard work for the training of journalists. Two volumes, and Essential English, and Pictures on a Page were recently republished: In 1999, in the United States, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Center of Photography.

Evans began his career in journalism as a weekly reporter at the age of sixteen. After service in the Royal Air Force from 1946-9, he graduated at Durham University with honors in politics and economics, and was later awarded a Harkness Fellowship for two years of travel and study in the U.S. He did postgraduate work at the Universities of Chicago and Stanford for a Masters thesis on the reporting of foreign policy (and has subsequently been awarded honorary doctorates by the universities of Stirling, Durham, Teesside, and the London Institute).

At the Manchester Evening News in the fifties he was a science and opinion writer. He first made his reputation as an editor in the north of England at Darlington where in 1961 he took over The Northern Echo, the leading provincial morning daily. From Darlington, he succeeded in two major national investigative campaigns, one to launch a public program for the detection of cervical cancer, and the second for exoneration of Timothy Evans (no relation), wrongfully hanged for murder, a key factor in Britain's decision to abolish the death penalty. Later at The Sunday Times, Evans was instrumental in documenting genocide in what was then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and exposing the cover-up of espionage for the Soviet Union by the master spy Kim Philby.

Among many recognitions, Evans was voted Campaigning Journalist of the Year in 1967, International Editor of the Year in 1976, and in 1979 he was awarded the European Gold Medal by the Institute of Journalists. This followed his successful Sunday Times investigation and campaign on behalf of children injured by the pharmaceutical thalidomide and his victory in the European Court of Human Rights against the suppression of the thalidomide articles. In 1999, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the UK Press Award committee, its highest accolade. In 2000 Evans was honored as one of 50 World Press Heroes in defense of press freedom on the 50th anniversary of the founding of the International Press Institute. In 2001 British journalists voted him the greatest all-time British newspaper editor, and in 2004 he was honored with a knighthood in the Queen's 2004 New Year's Honors list for services to journalism.

Sir Harold lives in New York City with his wife, Tina Brown, and their two children.

May 25, 2011

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