Hugo Young

Hugo Young

Hugo John Smelter Young (13 October 1938 – 22 September 2003) was a British journalist and columnist and senior political commentator at "The Guardian".

Early life and education

Born in Sheffield on to an old recusant family, he was head boy at Ampleforth College in York during his youth; later, he read law at Balliol College, Oxford, and worked for the Yorkshire Post in Leeds from 1961. In 1963, he spent a year as a Harkness fellow in the USA and he spent the next year working as a congressional fellow.

Journalism career

In 1965, Young returned to the United Kingdom. He was recruited by Denis Hamilton of the "The Sunday Times". In his second year there, he became chief leader writer, a position he kept until 1977.

From 1973 to 1984, Young was also the paper's political editor. He established a Sunday column, "Inside Politics", that made him famous. Beginning in 1981, he also held the position of joint deputy editor. However, Young's relationship with the Sunday Times cooled notably when Rupert Murdoch took over the paper in 1981. The conflict culminated in a series of battles with editor Andrew Neil, particularly over the US invasion of Grenada in 1983. This ultimately led to Young's leaving "The Sunday Times" and joining "The Guardian" in 1984.

Young continued to write a twice-weekly political column at "The Guardian" until his death, and was widely acclaimed as one of the most important and influential figures in modern British journalism. Young was a strong proponent of Europe, and sharply expressed his disappointment with the British government's Europe-sceptical politics in his columns, including Prime Minister Tony Blair's decision to side with George W. Bush instead of his EU partners in the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Despite these differences, Young remained on good terms with British government officials, including Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher, a critical biography of whom, "One of Us", he published in 1989. He wrote other books, including "This Blessed Plot: Britain And Europe From Churchill To Blair", which was published in 1998.

From 1989 on, Young was the chairman of the Scott Trust, which owns "The Guardian" and other news media, and helped the paper through important developments such as the purchase of "The Observer".

Young married twice. His first wife, Helen Mason, with whom he had three daughters and a son, died in 1989. He remarried a year later, this time to American artist Lucy Waring. He died at age 64 of colon cancer.


*"Supping with the Devils: Political Journalism" (2003) ISBN 1-84354-116-5
*"Political Lives" (2001) ISBN 0-19-860430-0
*"This Blessed Plot: Britain and Europe from Churchill to Blair" (1998) ISBN 0-333-57992-5
*"Thatcherism: Did society survive? (The Maisie Ward Sheed memorial lecture)" (1992) ISBN 0-903113-97-X
*"One of Us: Life of Margaret Thatcher" (1989) ISBN 0-333-34439-1
*"The Iron Lady: A Biography of Margaret Thatcher" (1989) ISBN 0-374-22651-2 (US edition of "One of Us")
*"But, Chancellor: Inquiry into the Treasury" (1984) ISBN 0-563-20237-8
*"No, Minister" (1982) ISBN 0-563-20056-1
*"The Thatcher Phenomenon" (1986) ISBN 0-563-20472-9
*"Crossman Affair" (1976) ISBN 0-241-89449-2

External links

* [ Special Report on Hugo Young] (from "The Guardian")
* [ "Guardian" columnist Hugo Young dies] (from BBC news)
* [,_Hugo/ Open Directory Project - Hugo Young] directory category
* [,,1048007,00.html/| "Guardian" obituary for Hugo Young]

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