Young, Hugo (John Smelter) 1938-2003
YOUNG, Hugo (John Smelter) 1938-2003
OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born October 13, 1938, in Sheffield, England; died of cancer, September 22, 2003, in London, England. Journalist and author. Young was a prominent political writer who was a former columnist for the London Times and, more recently, wrote for the Guardian. Though he spent his career as a journalist, his educational background was in law, and he earned his M.A. in the subject from Balliol College, Oxford, in 1961. After graduation, he was hired by the Yorkshire Post to be a leader writer. A Harkness fellowship in 1963 led him to study at Princeton University for a year, and he was a congressional fellow in Washington, DC, from 1964 to 1965. His experience in the United States led to an expressed fondness for America, though this would not prevent him from criticizing the George W. Bush administration in recent years. Young returned to England in 1965 to write for the Sunday Times, where he became political editor in 1973, political columnist in 1977, and joint deputy editor from 1981 to 1984. After the paper was purchased by Rupert Murdoch, Young disliked the owner's efforts to make the periodical more popular, so he left to join the Guardian in 1984. There, he wrote a regular column and, in 1989, became chair of the Scott Trust that ran the Guardian. In this position, he was instrumental in having the newspaper purchase the Observer. In his political commentary, Young's position was considered left of center, and he championed such causes as the abandonment of the monarchy and closer ties with continental Europe, including adoption of the euro currency. In addition to his columns, Young published eight books, including the coauthored Journey to Tranquility: The History of Man's Assault on the Moon (1969) and The Thatcher Phenomenon (1986), and the solo works The Crossman Affair (1976), One of Us: A Biography of Margaret Thatcher (1989) and The Blessed Plot: Britain and Europe from Churchill to Blair (1999). His last book, a collection of his columns titled Supping with the Devils, was published in 2003.
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
New York Times, September 24, 2003, p. C17. Times (London, England), September 24, 2003. Washington Post, September 29, 2003, p. B4.