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Harry Gordon, Oz's Olympic Historian, Dies.


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Harry Gordon, Olympic Games historian and distinguished journalist dies at 89

Olympic historian Harry Gordon has died. He was 89.

Mr Gordon, who had a distinguished career as a journalist, sportswriter, foreign correspondent, editor, author and historian, died late Wednesday afternoon on the Gold Coast.

He was surrounded by his family.

Mr Gordon had been sick in hospital for the past few weeks with respiratory and other complaints.

He was the official historian of the Australian Olympic Committee since 1992 and had been making plans to celebrate his 90th birthday in Melbourne on November 15.

AOC president John Coates has informed friends and supporters ahead of the committee releasing an official statement on Thursday.

Pentathlete Kitty Chiller, who represented Australia at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, said Mr Gordon was a true friend of the Olympics movement.

"Extremely sad to wake to the news of the passing of Harry Gordon. Longtime AOC historian. A true gentleman & friend to me &the Olympic family," she tweeted.

Mr Gordon is survived by his wife Joy and children Michael, John and Sally.

The funeral service is expected to held on the Gold Coast, before a memorial service in Melbourne.

Mr Gordon's first link to the Olympics began in 1952 when he covered the Helsinki games.

He covered every games since.

Mr Gordon wrote more than 14 books during his career, many of which were about the Olympic Games, including a biography of Dawn Fraser.

These include the landmark Australia and the Olympic Games and its sequel, The Time of our Lives.

In 2001 the International Olympic Committee awarded him its Olympic Order.

In 2006, he received the International Society of Olympic Historians Lifetime Award.

His last book was From Athens With Pride, which was launched last year.

Mr Gordon was a former editor of Melbourne's Sun News-Pictorial, editor-in-chief of both the Herald and Weekly Times (Melbourne) and Queensland Newspapers (Brisbane), and former chairman of Australian Associated Press.

The Age

A sad passing. His books have long graced my personal games library and still get turned to often for reference. Anyone who has followed Oz's Olympic history will have run across his writings.

I think I'll re-read The Time of Our Lives, his account of the Sydney 2000 era in our Olympic history, as my personal tribute to him.

RIP Harry.

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Yes a sad passing, and I have his books.

I am not a fan of his writing though, he seemed unable to capture the excitement and tension of the Games in his writing, it was dull and workmanlike. His Sydney book didn't capture the magic of those Games that swept the city. It was written by an old sports journo, and it plodded without passion. I would have like to have edited it to spice it up!

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