Vale Les Carlyon


Australian journalism has lost one of its greatest sons with the death of legendary writer, editor and author Les Carlyon.

There were moving tributes to him at the annual Quill Awards dinner in Melbourne on Friday 15 March, where his son Patrick was named joint winner of the 2018 Gold Quill.

Earlier, Melbourne Press Club CEO Mark Baker said the Club mourned the passing of "a true champion of independent journalism and a true friend of journalists across Australia and across the media.”

A former editor of The Age and editor-in-chief of the Herald and Weekly Times, Carlyon died on 5 March after a long battle with cancer.

"Les Carlyon was a courageous and inspiring editor and one of the most dazzling writers of his era,” said Baker.

"He was a friend and mentor who lit the path for countless fine reporters, writers and historians who followed him.

"His best selling histories Gallipoli and The Western Front are magnificent works of scholarship, style and humanity - like most of what he wrote in a prodigious career in which he also excelled as a business journalist and sports writer."

Carlyon was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia in June 2014 for “eminent service to literature through the promotion of the national identity as an author, editor and journalist, to the understanding and appreciation of Australia’s war history, and to the horseracing industry”.

He won almost every prize in Australian journalism including two Walkley awards. He was presented with the MPC’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004 and was named Graham Perkin Australian Journalist of the Year in 1993.

"His citation for the Perkin Award should be his epitaph: 'For consistent excellence’,” said Baker.

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