Knowlton Nash (1927-2014)

Knowlton Nash

Year Born: 1927

Year Died: 2014


Nash, Knowlton (1927-2014)

Born in Toronto on November 18th 1927, Knowlton Nash first got into the news business during World War II as a paperboy when he was only ten. He later became a part-time sports reporter for the Globe and Mail, until joining British United Press in 1947, for whom he served as Bureau Manager in Halifax, Vancouver and Toronto. In 1951 he went to Washington D.C. as Director of Information for the International Federation of Agricultural Producers, a job which gave him his first real taste of international travel, taking him frequently to Paris, Rome, London, New York, Africa and Latin America. He also represented the organization at the United Nations.

In 1956, Knowlton began freelance reporting from Washington for the CBC, as well as for the Financial Post, Maclean’s Magazine, and daily newspapers in Vancouver, Windsor and Halifax. He also hosted the CBC program “Newsmagazine”, and numerous radio and TV news specials. In this capacity he travelled on assignment to all corners of the world, and then and in the ensuing years he interviewed five U.S. Presidents, and seven Canadian and four British Prime Ministers.

Knowlton was appointed Washington correspondent for the CBC in 1961. During his time in Washington, Knowlton was President of the Canadian Correspondents’ Association, and of the CBC Foreign Correspondents’ Association.

In 1969 he returned from Washington to Toronto, where he became Director of Information Programming for CBC Radio and Television, and in the mid-Seventies be became CBC’s Director of Television News and Current Affairs. He held this position until 1978, when he was appointed Chief Correspondent and Anchor of the National. He retired from daily television news broadcasting at the end of November 1992.

In 1989 Knowlton was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada, and in 1998 he was made a Member of the Order of Ontario. In 1990 he was honoured with the President’s Award of the Radio and Television News Directors’ Association (RTNDA), and in 1995 he received the John Drainie Award “for distinguished contributions to broadcasting”, and was named to the Canadian News Hall of Fame in 1996.

He was given Honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from University of Toronto (1993), Brock (1995), University of Regina (1996), and Loyalist College (1997). He was the Max Bell Professor at the University of Regina School of Journalism in 1992. He was Founding Chairman of the Canadian Journalism Foundation (who homoured him with their Lifetime Achievement Award in June 2006), Honorary Chairman of the Canadian Organisation for Development through Education, and Honorary Chairman of the Toronto Arts Foundation, and served as a member of the board of the Gordon Sinclair Foundation.

Knowlton authored several books – “The Swashbucklers – The Story of Canada’s Battling Broadcasters”, published in 2001, “History on the Run” (1984), “Times to Remember” (1986), “Prime Time at Ten” (1987), “Kennedy and Diefenbaker” (1990), “Visions of Canada” (1991), “The Microphone Wars” (1994), “Cue the Elephant” (1996) and “Trivia Pursuit” (1998).

Knowlton Nash died in Toronto on May 24th 2014.

On April 22nd 2015, Knowlton Nash was announced as the first inductee to the new CBC News Hall of Fame.

Written by Pip Wedge – April, 2002