Kyle, Keith 1925-2007

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Kyle, Keith 1925-2007


See index for CA sketch: Born August 4, 1925, in Dorset, England; died February 21, 2007. Journalist, broadcaster, and author. Kyle was a respected foreign correspondent with the British Broadcasting Corporation who was particularly noted for his nonfiction title Suez: Britain's End of Empire in the Middle East (1991; revised edition, 2003). After service in the British Royal Artillery in Burma and India during World War II, he completed a master's degree at Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1950. He briefly worked for the English-Speaking Union in London before joining the BBC in 1951 as a radio producer. He was hired by the Economist to be a Washington correspondent in 1953. It was during this time that Kyle covered his first big story: the Suez Canal crisis in which Egypt wrested control of the strategically valuable canal from the British. Kyle correctly analyzed the crisis as further indication of the decline of the British Empire. Kyle reported on the British Parliament for the Economist during the late 1950s and then returned to the BBC as a reporter and newscaster. From 1960 until 1964 he was based in Kenya. While in Africa, he continued to report on the decline of European power as former colonies declared their independence. Returning to London, he became interested in the crises in the Middle East, Cyprus, and Northern Ireland. At times, he earned the ire of the British government for his controversial reports, including his criticism of Israel's aggressions against its neighbors and for reporting that Roman Catholics in Ireland had been assaulted by British troops while in custody. Kyle was also involved with the Royal Institute of International Affairs, serving as head of meetings during the 1970s and early 1980s, as assistant to the director, and as a research fellow. After leaving the BBC in 1982, Kyle, who had developed a reputation as a historian of the twentieth century, was a visiting professor at the University of Ulster from 1993 to 1999. In addition to his book on the Suez crisis, he was also the author of Cyprus: In Search of Peace (1984; revised edition, 1998) and The Politics of the Independence of Kenya (1999).



Times (London, England), March 7, 2007.