Harold Evans (1928)
Harold Evans is British-born journalist and writer who was editor of
The Sunday Times from 1967 to 1981. He has written various books on history and
journalism. Since 2001, he has served as Editor-at-Large of The Week Magazine
and since 2005, he has been a contributor to The Guardian and BBC Radio 4.
Evans was born in Manchester. His career began as a reporter for a weekly
newspaper in Ashton-Under-Lyne, near Oldham at the age of 16. After service in
the Royal Air Force, he entered Durham University where he graduated with
honours in politics and economics and subsequently earned a Master of Arts
degree for a thesis on foreign policy. He became an Assistant Editor of the
Manchester Evening News and won a Harkness Fellowship in 1956-57 for travel and
study in the United States. He began to make a reputation on return from the
U.S. when he was appointed Editor of the regional daily The Northern Echo, where
one of his campaigns resulted in a national programme for the detection of
During his fourteen-year tenure as Editor of the Sunday Times, Evans was
responsible for that newspaper's crusading style of investigative reporting
which brought to public attention many stories and scandals which were
officially denied or ignored.
When Rupert Murdoch acquired the company in 1981, Evans was appointed Editor of
The Times. However, he remained with the paper only a year, resigning over
policy differences relating to editorial independence. Evans wrote an account in
a book entitled Good Times, Bad Times (1984). On leaving The Times, Evans became
director of Goldcrest Films and Television.
In 1984, Evans moved to the United States, where he taught at Duke University.
He was subsequently appointed Editor-in-Chief of The Atlantic Monthly Press and
later became editorial director of US News and World Report In 1986 he was the
founding editor of Conde Nast Traveler, dedicated to "truth in travel."
Evans was appointed president and publisher of Random House trade group from
1990 to 1997 and editorial director and vice chairman of US News and World
Report, the New York Daily News, and The Atlantic Monthly from 1997 to January
2000, when he resigned to concentrate on writing.
Evans most famous work The American Century won critical acclaim when it was
published in 1998. They Made America, the sequel published in 2004, described
the lives of some of the country's most important inventors and innovators.
Fortune magazine identified it as one of the best books in its 75 years of
publication. It was adapted as a four-part television miniseries that same year
and as an NPR radio special in 2005.