Autocratic, idiosyncratic and hard drinking, Williams oversaw the Herald and Weekly Times' growth into the country's biggest media group, first as managing director from 1953 to 1964, then as executive chairman until 1970. Feared and respected, he was a hands-on champion of the Sun News Pictorial and identified strongly with its 'family' readership. He would view and alter final copy and occasionally phone in reports of events he had witnessed on the city streets. He brought a new level of fairness to political reporting, opposed the White Australia Policy and clashed with Premier Sir Henry Bolte on capital punishment.
Watch the video tribute (0:41)
John Williams’ grandson Mark Williams accepting award (0:59)