Australian Veteran Journalist Alan Ramsey Dies Aged 82

By AAP
November 24, 2020 Updated: November 24, 2020

Renowned political correspondent and columnist Alan Ramsey has died, aged 82.

Ramsey is most remembered for his insightful and acerbic weekly columns in the Sydney Morning Herald.

The veteran journalist sufferent from dementia in his later years, and passed away at a nursing home in New South Wales.

His journalistic career started in 1953 and spanned more than half a century.

He served as a foreign correspondent for Australian Associated Press in Port Moresby and London before accompanying Australian troops to Vietnam in 1965.

His fearless reporting on the war was widely respected and rankled military leaders.

Ramsey joined the Canberra press gallery the following year and famously shouted “you liar” at Prime Minister John Gorton during a parliamentary debate in 1971.

He was deputy editor of The Australian for several years before joining the Sydney Morning Herald, where he spent his final 22 years in journalism before retiring in 2008.

Ramsey was admitted to Australian media’s hall of fame in 2017.

Tributes have poured in from people in politics and the media.

“Vale Alan Ramsey. Uncompromising, formidable, informed, insightful. Always a match for the politicians—and they knew it,” Canberra political correspondent Michelle Grattan said.

Broadcaster Phillip Adams described Ramsey as “journalism’s grumpiest old bugger.”

Mike Carlton wrote: “Irascible, fearless, implacable, in his heyday in the gallery there was none better.”

Ramsey was married to senior political reporter Laura Tingle until 2012.

By Daniel McCulloch