Jon Akass

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John Ewart Akass (16 July 1933 – 4 June 1990), known as Jon Akass, was a British Fleet Street journalist.[1][2] First reaching Fleet street as a journalist on the Daily Herald, he stayed on when it became The Sun. The last years of his career were spent at the Daily Express following a brief period at Sir James Goldsmith's NOW! in 1981.

Jon Akass

Akass was named British columnist of the year in 1976.[3]


Akass was born in Bedford, England and educated at Bedford Modern School.[4][5] At the age of 15, Akass joined the London office of the Glasgow Herald as a teaboy. He worked as a reporter on a local newspaper in Lincolnshire before joining the Daily Herald in Manchester where he was responsible for the coverage of the Munich air disaster which claimed eight players of the Manchester United football team in 1958.[6] He soon moved to the London offices of the Daily Herald where he worked alongside Dennis Potter.[7]

Akass stayed with The Sun, as the Daily Herald became, and continued with the paper when it was acquired by Rupert Murdoch in 1969 and underwent its transformation into a tabloid. Akass was named British columnist of the year in 1976.[3] As a columnist, he joined the staff of Sir James Goldsmith's NOW! in 1981, two days before Goldsmith closed the magazine. He returned to his previous post, but was a columnist of the Daily Express in his last years.[1] He was a personal friend of Michael Parkinson.[8]

Akass died in London on 4 June 1990 and was survived by his wife, Peggy, and four children.[2] An obituary by Keith Waterhouse in The Guardian described him as a "shambling Ustinov-shaped figure in a crumpled white suit" who "forever looked either as if he was on his way to a good nap after a good lunch or as if he had just risen from a good nap in time for the cocktail hour and a good supper."[1]


  1. ^ a b c Obituary in The Guardian, Write after lunch, by Keith Waterhouse, Tuesday June 5, 1990
  2. ^ a b "Veteran Fleet Street columnist Jon Akass". Chicago Tribune. 7 June 1990. Retrieved 12 July 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b The Times, January 21, 1976, p. 4
  4. ^ England BMD Indexes
  5. ^ Eagle News, The Magazine of The Old Bedford Modernians' Club, Number 62, January 1991, p. 40
  6. ^ Dennis Griffiths (ed) The Encyclopedia of the British Press, 1422–1992, London and Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1992, p. 71
  7. ^ Stephen Gilbert, W. (February 2002). The Life and Work of Dennis Potter. ISBN 9781468305616. Retrieved 27 March 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Parkinson, Michael (14 May 2009). Parky. ISBN 9781844569007. Retrieved 27 March 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)