Vale Christopher Pearson

Christopher Pearson. Photo by Kelly Barnes, courtesy of The Australian

Christopher Pearson, a respected journalist and Flinders University alumnus, died on Friday.

A speechwriter to former Prime Minister John Howard and a regular columnist for The Australian newspaper, Mr Pearson attended Scotch College and went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from Flinders and a Graduate Diploma in Education at the University of Adelaide.

He was founder and editor of The Adelaide Review and more recently edited three books by now Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.

Flinders academic Professor Brian Matthews, who supervised Mr Pearson’s thesis on Patrick White, said he got to know him well.

“We became good friends some years later when he bought The Adelaide Review,” Professor Matthews said.

“I was one of a number of writers he enlisted to contribute to the early editions. His energy and optimistic vision made those first years of The Adelaide Review inspiring and marvellously exciting,” he said.

He described Mr Pearson an “innovative, intuitive and daring editor” who gave him and others “the chance to write in ways and in forms that were not possible in commercial publishing circles”.

“He was extraordinarily generous to me and my wife, a wonderful host at his rural retreat in Delamere and at his home in Adelaide.

“We disagreed amiably about many things but Christopher remained a good, loyal and always welcoming friend over the years and I will miss him.”

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