Educated at St Joseph's College, Hunters Hill, he proved to be an all-round achiever, rowing in the winning school eight, becoming captain of Rugby Union football, cricket and athletics teams, as well as editing the school magazine and producing all its artwork, even helping design the school badge.
But he took up journalism, first with the Australian edition of the Freeman's Journal (in 1942 incorporated into the Catholic Weekly), The Daily Telegraph from 1919 to 1922 then the (Sydney) Sun. In 1926 he was appointed Managing Director of Truth, where he succeeded in raising its circulation substantially.
In 1928 he was appointed Editor-in-Chief of Smith's Weekly, replacing Claude McKay, where he built up its stable of black-and-white artists including Leon Miller, Joe Jonsson, Emile Mercier, Virgil Reilly, Rosaleen Norton, Marie "Mollie" Horseman and Joan Morrison, as well as giving great support to those already on the payroll - George Finey, Frank Dunne, George Donaldson, Stan Cross (who called him "the best Art Editor Australia ever had").
His second title was "Mechanical Superintendent" - he was a skilful fitter and turner, movie projectionist (he had both a well-equipped workshop and an 80-seat movie theatre at "Pine Lodge" his Miranda home) and Linotype compositor.
In 1932 he made a major error in not "pulling" the "wicked beyond expression" Wilkinson story, a barrage of ugly untruths about the victim of a callous murder, which his competitors were quick to seize upon. Smith's Weekly never fully recovered from the bad publicity and the resultant drop in circulation.
He died after several years of illness, much of the time confined to a nursing home. He was still editing the paper on the day he died.
In 1915 he married Marie Therese "Maisie" Fitzpatrick . They had one daughter, Frances, and two sons, William and Brian (both of whom followed their father in winning "eights" at St Joseph's).
- Blaikie, George Remember Smith's Weekly Angus & Robertson, London 1967
- Sydney Morning Herald, 18 July 1936
- Wilde, W H The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature 2nd ed. 1994 ISBN 0-19-553381-X
- Sydney Morning Herald p.14 10 April 1947