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Mark Colvin: Legendary ABC newsman has died

Australian journalist Peter Greste and Mark Colvin addressed audiences at the Sydney Opera House as part of the Festival of Dangerous Ideas. Mark Colvin has died aged 65 after a 20-year battle with auto immune disease
Australian journalist Peter Greste and Mark Colvin addressed audiences at the Sydney Opera House as part of the Festival of Dangerous Ideas. Mark Colvin has died aged 65 after a 20-year battle with auto immune disease AAP / Prudence Upton

RESPECTED ABC broadcaster Mark Colvin has died at the age of 65.

The veteran journalist, who worked for the national broadcaster for more than four decades, is being remembered as a "giant of journalism".

Colvin had been a presenter of the flagship ABC Radio program PM since 1997 was one of the national broadcaster's most senior journalists.

He had worked as a foreign correspondent for the ABC in London, and covered major international stories in the late 20th century including the American hostage crisis in Tehran, the rise of the Solidarity movement in Poland and Russia's Gorbachev era which ended the Cold War.

Colvin was also a founding presenter of the ABC program The World Today.

In 1994 he travelled to the tiny central African country of Rwanda to report on the plight of dying refugees following that country's genocide in a civil war between the Hutu and Tutsi populations.
 


It was in Rwanda that Colvin contracted a rare auto-immune disease that was to permanently affect his health.
In December 2012, he received a kidney transplant from a living donor.

Typically, he allowed this to be recorded for a television program, and later worked as an advocate for organ donation..

In 2013, it was revealed that his kidney donor was Mary-Ellen Field whom Colvin had met while reporting on the victims of an international phone hacking scandal.

The story of the kidney donation and the circumstances surrounding it is the subject of a stage play titled Mark Colvin's Kidney which then opened at the Belvoir Theatre in Sydney.

In one of his final tweets, he thanks "all at the hospital" for allowing him to see his dog Chops.
 

Following his death on Thursday, the ABC issued a statement saying:

"The ABC is grieving the death of Mark Colvin, a giant of Australian journalism, at the age of 65.

"A prominent part of the ABC for almost four decades as a reporter, correspondent and presenter, Mark was admired and respected by colleagues and audiences alike for his formidable intellect, sharp wit and absolute integrity.

"His loss will be deeply felt in Australia and around the world, and especially by his two sons and other family members."

ABC Managing Director Michelle Guthrie said: "For many Australians, Mark's steady and measured voice as host of PM brought them the essential news of the day and kept them informed about events of national and international importance.

"We will miss him enormously, and extend our thoughts to his family and friends."

Director, News Gaven Morris said: "Mark was one of Australia's finest journalists. He leaves an unfillable void as a journalist, a colleague and a friend.

"He was an important part of the ABC community as a mentor and teacher to young reporters and as a voice of wisdom and experience to many older ones.

"Our reporters and producers felt strengthened by his presence in the newsroom and emboldened by the sound of his voice on our airwaves."

 


 

 

 

     
News Corp Australia

Topics:  abc news editors picks mark colvin


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