John F. Osborne

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For others with this name, see John Osborne (disambiguation).

John F. Osborne (March 15, 1907 – May 3, 1981)[1] was an American magazine editor and journalist.[2]

He was born in Corinth, Mississippi,[2] and wrote for the Memphis Commercial Appeal and the Associated Press before joining the National Recovery Administration, and then the Tennessee Valley Authority, as a U.S. government public relations officer during the Great Depression.[3] He became an editor at Time–Life, eventually becoming the London-based editor, and then the Far East editor, based in Hong Kong in the 1950s.[citation needed] After returning to the United States, he lived in Georgetown and in Sag Harbor, Long Island, New York.[citation needed] He later became senior editor at New Republic.[2] He wrote "The Nixon Watch" column,[4][5] which was noted for its preoccupation with the relationship between Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger,[6] followed by "The White House Watch" column.[7] He won the Polk Award for magazine journalism in 1973.[8] His work landed him on the first Nixon's Enemies List, a limited master list of famous people that President Nixon considered his direct political opponents.[9][10] In addition to his political books, he co-authored two Time-Life series books, one about Britain, the other about the Old South.[11]

Known for his courtly manners, he had a slow drawl and a quiet demeanor, which belied his sharp political sense.[citation needed] While in Washington, D.C., he was a very respected member-some said the most respected by the other members—of The White House Press Corps.[citation needed]

He married twice. His widow, Gertrude (Trudi) McCullough Osborne, the daughter of an Indiana senator, was also a writer. She died in Washington, D.C. in 1994. She was the mother of his only child, John F. Osborne III (d. 2006) who was married to author Peggy Ann Osborne.


  1. ^ "John Osborne Dies; Editor at Magazine". New York Times. New York, NY. May 3, 1981. Retrieved 2011-01-28. 
  2. ^ a b c Lloyd, James B. (ed) (2009). Lives of Mississippi Authors 1817-1967. Univ. Press of Mississippi. p. 356. ISBN 1-60473-411-6. 
  3. ^ "Deaths Elsewhere: John Osborne". Toledo Blade. Toledo, OH. May 13, 1981. p. 10. Retrieved 2011-01-28. 
  4. ^ Osborne, John F. (September 17, 1971). The First Two Years of The Nixon Watch. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0-87140-255-6. 
  5. ^ Osborne, John F. (1974). The fifth year of the Nixon watch. Liveright. ISBN 0-87140-582-2. 
  6. ^ Beisner, Robert L. (ed) (2003). American foreign relations since 1600: a guide to the literature, Volume 1. ABC-CLIO. p. 1489. ISBN 1-57607-080-8. 
  7. ^ Osborne, John F. (1977). White House watch: The Ford years. New Republic Book Co. ISBN 0-915220-26-1. 
  8. ^ "Previous Award Winners". News & Events > George Polk Awards. Long Island University. 2009. Retrieved 2011-01-28. 
  9. ^ Axtell, Daniel G. (2011). "The First Enemies List". Retrieved 2011-01-28. 
  10. ^ Staff report (Jun 28, 1973). Lists of White House 'Enemies' and Memorandums Relating to Those Named. New York Times
  11. ^ Works by or about John F. Osborne in libraries (WorldCat catalog)