An "engaging and meticulous biography."

Mark Day, Weekend Australian

About Stewart Cockburn

Stewart Cockburn, an instinctive and fearless journalist, started as a 16-year-old copy boy in 1938 at The Advertiser, Adelaide’s morning newspaper. His career in writing, radio and television spanned 45 years. Restless ambition took him to post-war London with Reuters, to Melbourne with The Herald, to Canberra as Press Secretary to Prime Minister Robert Menzies, and to Washington, DC as Press Attaché at the Australian Embassy. Returning to Adelaide, his feature-writing won a Walkley Award and his contentious opinion columns challenged Premier Don Dunstan’s sacking of the Police Commissioner. His crusade on behalf of Eddie Splatt, wrongly convicted of a brutal murder, prompted a Royal Commission that reversed the conviction. Cockburn also wrote biographies of two eminent 20th century South Australians.

About Writing for His Life

WRITING FOR HIS LIFE draws on Stewart Cockburn’s extensive letters, journals and oral histories as well as other sources to bring to life a driven journalist and the changing times he lived through and closely observed. Its balanced narrative documents Stewart Cockburn’s peripatetic career, examining both its highlights and disappointments, and the singular qualities that made him a highly respected and at times controversial journalist. It is a story of intense idealism and a quest for truth that resulted in important public interest journalism.

About the Author

Jennifer Cockburn grew up in Australia and moved to the United States after she graduated from the Australian National University with a BA in Political Science and an LLB (Hons) degree. After earning her Master of Laws at Georgetown University, she pursued a nearly 30-year legal career in Washington, DC, first in private practice and then at the International Finance Corporation, part of the World Bank Group.  She retired in 2008 with the idea of writing a biography of her father, the late Australian journalist and author Stewart Cockburn. WRITING FOR HIS LIFE is the result.