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Anthony Michell Howard (born 12 February 1934) is a prominent British journalist, broadcaster and writer. He was the editor of the New Statesman, The Listener and the deputy editor of The Observer. He edited the Crossman Diaries.


Early life

The son of a Church of England clergyman, Canon Guy Howard, he was educated at Highgate School and Westminster School and Christ Church, University of Oxford, where he was chairman of the Oxford University Labour Club in 1954 and President of the Oxford Union the following year.

Howard had planned on a career as a barrister, having been called to the Bar (Inner Temple) in 1956 while fulfilling his National Service obligations in the army, during which he saw active service in the Suez War, but he "stumbled" in to his career as a journalist in 1958, starting on Reynolds News as a political correspondent. Howard moved to the Manchester Guardian in 1959. The year after, he was awarded a Harkness scholarship to study in the United States, though he remained on the Guardian’s staff.


Howard was political correspondent of the New Statesman from 1961 until 1964. An admirer of Labour leader Hugh Gaitskell during this period, he was a strong advocate of the democratic process:

"I strongly believe that people should have the right to elect their own rulers and for a long time I was deeply affronted by what the Conservative Party did and never more affronted than when Alec Douglas-Home became leader of the Conservative Party. That seemed to me to be an Etonian fix organised by Harold Macmillan."[1]

In January 1965, Howard joined The Sunday Times as its Whitehall correspondent, a post he sees as being in advance of modern practices.[2] Cabinet Ministers were instructed by Prime Minister Harold Wilson's private secretary not to co-operate with Howard. Civil servants received similar instructions.[2] Howard though, was soon invited to become the Observer’s chief Washington correspondent, serving in the role from 1966 to 69, later contributing a political column (1971-72). During his period in America he made regular contributions to The World At One on Radio 4. "It got to where I was almost the World at One Washington correspondent", he once remarked.[3]

As editor of the New Statesman (1972-78), succeeding Richard Crossman, whose deputy he had been (1970-72), he appointed Robin Cook as the magazine's parliamentary adviser in 1974,[1] (Cook also contributed articles), James Fenton, Christopher Hitchens and Martin Amis as literary editor in 1977. Under Howard, the magazine published a rare non-British contributor: Gabriel García Márquez in March 1974, on the overthrow of Salvador Allende's elected government in Chile the previous September. Perhaps out of a sense of mischief, he featured a series of diatribes against the British Left, by the journalist and historian Paul Johnson, a drinking companion and friend, whose rightward drift was well advanced by then. Howard was unable to halt the magazine's fall in circulation, however. He then edited The Listener for two years (1979-81).

Howard was deputy editor of The Observer (1981-88), where one of his journalist protégés was the journalist and (later novelist) Robert Harris, whom he appointed as the newspaper's political editor. His professional relationship with the editor, Donald Trelford, ultimately broke down over allegations that Trelford had allowed the newspaper’s proprietor Tiny Rowland to interfere in editorial content. After leaving The Observer, following an ill-fated editorial coup against Trelford, he was a reporter on Newsnight and Panorama (1989-92), having previously presented Channel Four’s Face the Press (1982-85). His last editorial positions before turning freelance were at The Times as Obituaries editor (1993-99) and Chief Political Book Reviewer (1990-2004), though he contributed opinion columns to the newspaper until September 2005, when his regular column was discontinued.

Howard assisted Michael Heseltine on his memoirs, Life in the Jungle: My Autobiography (2000), and more recently published an official biography Basil Hume: The Monk Cardinal (2005), despite being an agnostic.

Convivial and avuncular, Howard is frequently interviewed on radio and TV, since the length of his career enables him to contextualize contemporary political events from a longer perspective than most.

Personal life

Howard married Carol Anne Gaynor, herself a journalist, in 1965. He was awarded the CBE in 1997. He lives in London.


  1. ^ Ciar Byrne "The Indestructible Journos", The Independent, 12 June 2006. Retrieved on 20 October 2008.
  2. ^ a b "Media: My Greatest Mistake: Anthony Howard, Broadcaster and Political [Journalist]", The Independent, 3 July 2003, as reproduced on the Find Articles website. Retrieved on 17 June 2008.
  3. ^ Quoted in Simon Elmes And Now on Radio 4, 2007, Random House, p161.


  • Richard Crossman (Anthony Howard (ed)) (1979) Diaries of a Cabinet Minister: Selections, 1964-70 Hamish Hamilton
  • Philip French & Michael Sissons (1963) The Age of Austerity Hodder & Stoughton [reprinted by OUP 1986 (contributed chapter "'We Are the Masters Now'" (on the Attlee government) pp. 1-20)]
  • Stephen Glover (ed) (1999) Secrets of the Press: Journalists on Journalism Allen Lane (reprinted as The Penguin Book of Journalism: Secrets of the Press Penguin 2000) contributed chapter "Dealing with Mr Murdoch" pp. 260-71)
  • Michael Heseltine (2000) Life in the Jungle: My Autobiography Hodder & Stoughton [acknowledged assistance]
  • Anthony Howard and Richard West (1965) The Making of the Prime Minister Jonathan Cape [USA edition: The Road to Number 10 Macmillan 1965]
  • Anthony Howard (1987) Rab: Life of R.A. Butler Jonathan Cape
  • Anthony Howard (1990) Crossman: The Pursuit of Power Jonathan Cape
  • Anthony Howard (ed) (1993) Lives Remembered: "Times" Obituaries, The Blewbury Press
  • Anthony Howard (2005) Basil Hume: The Monk Cardinal Headline Books
  • John Raymond (ed) (1960) The Baldwin Age, Eyre & Spottiswoode [contributor]

External links

  • Childe Harold: New Statesman article from 1964 on the newly elected government of Harold Wilson (December 6, 1999 reprint).
  • [2] column archives
Media offices
Preceded by
Richard Crossman
Editor of the New Statesman
Succeeded by
Bruce Page


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