Harold Evans
biography :: conference marerials
Harold Evans, Editor at Large of The Week Magazine, is the author of the critically acclaimed bestseller, The American Century. 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 two major writing and television projects following up on the success of The American Century. Evans remains a Contributing Editor at U.S. News & World Report.

Little, Brown and Company (a division of Time Warner Trade Publishing) has acquired world rights to complete Evans’ trilogy of American history. The American Century (a political history from 1880 to the millennium) is followed this October 2004 by a major history of American business innovation with the title They Made America: From the Steam Engine to the Search Engine: Two Centuries of Innovators. This book is supported by a grant from The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and has been adapted as a four-part television series by WGBH for PBS which premieres in November, 2004. The final book of the trilogy will be We the People covering the period from the Revolution to 1889 is a prequel to The American Century.

Evans was the guest curator of the recent “War Stories: Reporting in the Time of Conflict” exhibit at the Freedom Forum, and wrote the accompanying catalog, which he recently updated and adapted into a book called War Stories: Reporting in the Time of Conflict From the Crimea to Iraq.

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. In 2001, British journalists voted him the greatest all time British newspaper editor -- he already held the Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest accolade bestowed by the British Press, and the European Gold Medal by the Institute of Journalists for his successful Thalidomide campaign on behalf of victims, and his victory in the European Court of Human Rights against the suppression of the Thalidomide articles. Evans ended his year at The Times shortly after being named Editor of the Year by Granada Television’s What the Papers Say. In this period, he wrote a five-volume manual entitled Editing and Design, which became the standard work for the training of journalists. Two volumes, Pictures on a Page and Essential English, were recently republished. In 1999, he was given the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Center of Photography and was honored as one of 50 World Press Heroes on the 50th anniversay of the founding of the International Press Institute in defense of press freedom.

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 US. He did postgraduate work at the Universities of Chicago and Stanford for a Master's thesis on the reporting of foreign policy (and has subsequently been awarded honorary doctorates by the universities of Stirling, Durham and Teesside). At the Manchester Evening News in the fifties he was a science and feature writer. He made his reputation as an editor in the north of England at Darlington where he took over The Northern Echo, the leading provincial newspaper. He was Campaigning Journalist of the Year in 1967 and International Editor of the Year in 1976. Among his many campaigns in the sixties, perhaps the most notable one was to win a national program for the detection of cervical cancer.

Harold Evans was honored with a knighthood in the Queen's 2004 New Year's Honors list for services to journalism. Mr. Evans lives in New York City with his wife, Tina Brown, and their two children.