Richard Hughes (journalist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Richard Joseph Hughes CBE (5 March 1906 – 4 January 1984) was an Australian journalist who spent much of his life in the Far East as correspondent for The Times, The Economist and the Far Eastern Economic Review. He was the inspiration for the fictional character Dikko Henderson in Ian Fleming's James Bond novel You Only Live Twice, and for 'Old Craw' in John le Carré's The Honourable Schoolboy.

Hughes was born on 5 March 1906 at Prahran, Melbourne, Australia. His working life began at the Victorian Railways and he acquired his first journalistic experiences as a writer for the house magazine "The Victorian Railways Magazine" which is where he acquired the poetic style of writing for which he later became famous.[1] He later worked within the Frank Packer organisation.

Hughes was a war correspondent in the North African campaign of World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars.

After WWII he worked first from Japan and then from Hong Kong where in addition to his journalistic work he was generally considered to be a British spy and by some to be a double agent.

He died in Hong Kong in January 1984 of kidney and liver diseases.

His granddaughter is Christa Hughes.


  • The Chinese Communes (Bodley Head, 1960)
  • Hong Kong: Borrowed Place, Borrowed Time - Hong Kong and its many faces (Deutsch, 1968)
  • Richard Hughes, Foreign Devil: Thirty Years of Reporting from the Far East (Deutsch, 1972)



  1. ^ an article by Hughes, 'Right Away!' in the June 1929 edition of "The Victorian Railways Magazine" is an example of the writing style for which he later became famous.