The press proprietor as philosopher Warwick Oswald Fairfax (1901-1987)

Margaret Van Heekeren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Warwick Oswald Fairfax (1901-1987) was a fourth generation Fairfax proprietor of the Sydney Morning Herald and one of Australia's longest serving media owners, heading John Fairfax & Sons for 46 years. Yet he remains a relatively unknown figure in the annals of Australian journalism history. This article focuses on Fairfax's philosophical, social and political thought, honed in the halls of Balliol College, Oxford. As a consequence of his Oxford studies, Fairfax retained a lifelong interest in philosophy, publishing a book in the field and leaving a second manuscript at his death. These works, together with Fairfax's journalism, reveal the influence of British idealist thought. By identifying the relationship between Fairfax's thought and that of Australian proponents of idealism, this article positions Fairfax within a broader idealist intellectual tradition in Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-166
Number of pages21
JournalHistory Australia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014

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