Hailed as one of the most influential figures of modern journalism, editor and best-selling author Sir Harold Evans is a renowned historian of America, as well as a popular speaker, lecturer, television and radio broadcaster. His long awaited autobiography, My Paper Chase, was published to universal applause in Britain and the United States, praised by Publishers’ Weekly as “a scintillating memoir…written with self-deprecating humor and quiet conviction.”
Sir Harold has the unique distinction of having edited both The Sunday Times and the historic Times. Currently, Sir Harold serves as Reuters editor-at-large, moderating news-making conversations with global leaders and hosting live events that showcase Reuters world-class photojournalism.
Emigrating to the U.S. in 1984, he became Editorial Director of US News and World Report, founded Conde Nast Traveler and in 1990, was appointed President of Random House. At Random House, he revived the Modern Library of classics and published such celebrated authors as Colin Powell, Marlon Brando, Norman Mailer, Richard Avedon, Gore Vidal and Ed Doctorow, among others. In 1997, he returned to journalism as editorial director, again of US News, combined with The Atlantic, Fast Company and The New York Daily News.
Sir Harold’s prize-winning work as editor of the London Sunday Times and The Times earned him the European Gold Medal for his enlargement of the freedoms of the British press, notably his success in winning compensation for the limbless children deformed by the drug thalidomide. These contributions, among many others, earned him a knighthood in the Queen’s 2004 New Year’s Honors list for services to journalism. Named one of 50 world press heroes by the International Press Institute for his contribution to defending worldwide freedom of the press, Sir Harold was overwhelmingly voted the all-time greatest British newspaper editor in 2002.
In his autobiography, My Paper Chase, Sir Harold gives us what critics have called “a moving, inspiring and highly evocative account of life in wartime Britain,” beginning at a time when his family was sheltered from Nazi bombs while his railwayman father was out in the dark driving munitions trains. He relates the dramas behind his paper’s exposure of controversial stories, the difficulties of reporting in Northern Ireland, and the battles with the law over the thalidomide children. In an age when newspapers everywhere are under threat, My Paper Chase is not just a glorious recounting of an amazing life, but an inspiring example of what newspapers can do for society.
Sir Harold’s They Made America: From the Steam Engine to the Search Engine: Two Centuries of Innovators was the world’s first comprehensive chronicle of innovation. An original and fascinating account of the people who have created our modern world – the innovators, They Made America was made into a major 4-part PBS documentary series and an interactive and interdisciplinary college course called Making It New. His other best-selling books include American Century and Good Times, Bad Times.
Sir Harold graduated Master of Arts in economics and politics and served in the Royal Air Force. His newspaper awards are too numerous to mention and his prolific career as a journalist, author, economic and political expert and historian boasts an honorary Doctorate of Civil Law. Also a renowned authority on photojournalism—his book Picture on a Page is a classic—Sir Harold was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Center of Photography in 1999.
At the podium he draws upon My Paper Chase, sharing his journey through the golden age of journalism and his decision to become an American citizen. In a separate program, Sir Harold draws upon They Made America to bring the greatest innovators to life and discusses how America might once again renew the course set by them – from the steam engine to the search engine.
Sir Harold lives in New York City with his wife, Tina Brown, editor of Newsweek and The Daily Beast. They have two children.