1966 Fredericton Convocation

Gordon, John Rutherford

Doctor of Laws (LL.D.)

Orator: Cattley, Robert E.D.

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L to R: Sir Max Aitken, John Rutherford Gordon
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Source: UA PC-5 no.8(31)


to be Doctor of Laws

John Gordon is yet another of those Scots whose journalistic Bannockburns are becoming an institution. Born in Dundee, and trained in its Advertiser and the Glasgow Herald, he joined the Beaverbrook Newspapers in 1922. The circulation of the Daily Express was then around 600,000. When it topped the million, Gordon took over editorial control of the Sunday Express, at that time the weakling of the group, with a circulation of half a million. At seventy-five he is still its Editor-in-Chief, and its sales are 4½ million -- give or take a copy.

"I do not know" wrote the late Lord Beaverbrook of his most trusted editorial colleague, "of any newspaper success to equal it."

John Gordon is more modest. "The secret of my success", he explains, "is simple. A newspaper editor must have a common denominator mind. He must be an ordinary human being with ordinary interests who can reflect them in his newspaper."

Mr. Gordon's audience is shortly to experience how ordinary both he and we are. In private and "off the cuff" we have found him the most genial of raconteurs. But if in public we bear any resemblance to the British Labour Party and other targets of his buckshot in "Gordon's Column", we are in for a peppering!

Cattley, Robert E.D. Honoris causa: the effervescences of a university orator. Fredericton: UNB Associated Alumnae, 1968.

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