Life and career
Born in Penang, Malaysia, Gall's father was a rubber planter. Gall was educated in Scotland at Trinity College (Glenalmond College), a boys' independent school in Glenalmond in Perth and Kinross, where he boarded. He graduated from Aberdeen University in 1952. In 1953 he joined Reuters as a foreign correspondent for whom he reported for the Suez Crisis in 1956, the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, and the Congo Crisis 1960-1963.
He joined ITN in 1963 as a foreign correspondent. He was the first ITN journalist to report the Vietnam War when the United States Marines landed on 8 March 1965. He returned to Vietnam several times until 1975 when Saigon fell and he was forcibly removed from the country by the communist authorities. During this time he also reported from Cambodia, China, Afghanistan, and Africa. He also covered the Six-Day War in 1967 and the Yom Kippur War in 1973. In 1972 he was arrested with his Reuters colleague Nicholas Moore in Uganda and held for three days in the Makindye police camp. He was one of the original staff on News at Ten in July 3, 1967 and became one of its senior presenters.
Gall reported from Afghanistan on many occasions, has written several books about Afghanistan, and made three documentaries during the Soviet war in Afghanistan: Afghanistan: Behind Russian Lines (1982); Allah Against the Gunships (1984); and Agony of a Nation (1986). The latter two documentaries were nominated for BAFTA awards.
In 1986 Gall established the Sandy Gall's Afghanistan Appeal (SGAA). As of 2006 the charity, which is supported by the Princess of Wales Memorial Fund and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has provided artificial limbs and walking aids for more than 20,000 people, and physiotherapy for more than 50,000 people. Gall's wife Eleanor Gall and two of his daughters, Fiona and Michaela, are also actively involved in the charity.
Gall's reporting of the Afghanistan war was thrown into question owing to his confessed recruitment by MI6 as well as how that reflected on his employers, ITN, and the objective reporting of news. In his memoirs, he recounted meetings with MI6 officers at Stone's Chop House in Piccadilly.
Gall was awarded the Sitara-e-Pakistan in 1985 and the Lawrence of Arabia Memorial Medal in 1987. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1987. He was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in the 2011 New Year Honours for services to the people of Afghanistan.
- The Bushmen of Southern Africa: Slaughter of the Innocent (July 2001), with Charles, Prince of Wales, Chatto and Windus, ISBN 0-7011-6906-0
- News From The Front: A Television Reporter's Life (Feb 1994), William Heinemann, ISBN 0-434-00087-6
- George Adamson: Lord of the Lions (Nov 1991), Grafton, ISBN 0-246-13699-5
- Afghanistan: Travels with the Mujahideen (July 1989), New English Library Ltd, ISBN 0-450-50082-9
- Salang (May 1989), The Bodley Head Ltd, ISBN 0-370-31309-7
- Afghanistan: Agony of a Nation (Feb 1988), with Margaret Thatcher, The Bodley Head Ltd, ISBN 0-370-31135-3
- Behind Russian Lines: An Afghan Journal (Sep 1983), Sidg. & J, ISBN 0-283-99039-2
- Don't Worry About the Money Now (March 1983), H Hamilton, ISBN 0-241-10959-0
- Chasing the Dragon (June 1981), Wm Collins & Sons & Co, ISBN 0-00-222125-X
- Gold Scoop (October 1977), Collins, ISBN 0-00-221355-9
- George Adamson: Lord of the Lions - Produced by Nick Gray and Sandy Gall. In 1989 Sandy Gall visited conservationist George Adamson, of Born Free fame, in Kenya East Africa to discuss his past, his motivation and his life among his lion friends.
- Sandy Gall (1 October 2006). "Unlike Iraq, the Afghan war is winnable". The Independent. Retrieved 2011-05-27.
- Sandy Gall (17 August 2003). "Blood and fear in Idi's jail". The Observer. Retrieved 2011-05-27.
- Sandy Gall (15 October 2001). "When David took on Goliath". New Statesman. Retrieved 2011-05-27.
- Sandy Gall CV at PFD
- Sandy Gall CV at Knight Ayton Management
- Sandy Gall at the Internet Movie Database
- Sandy Gall's Afghanistan Appeal
- Sandy Gaul reporting from Vietnam 1968 Clip on YouTube of Sandy Gall on an LST going up the Pearl River to Hue, in 1968
|Rector of the University of Aberdeen
Robert J. Perryment