Robert Gavron, Baron Gavron

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The Lord Gavron
Lord Gavron 2012.jpg
Gavron in 2012
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
6 August 1999 – 7 February 2015
Personal details
Born(1930-09-13)13 September 1930
Died7 February 2015(2015-02-07) (aged 84)
Political partyLabour
Hannah Fyvel
(m. 1955; died 1965)

(m. 1967; div. 1987)

Kate Macnair
(m. 1989; his death 2015)
ChildrenSimon Gavron
Jeremy Gavron
Sarah Gavron

Robert Gavron, Baron Gavron CBE FRSL (13 September 1930 – 7 February 2015) was a British printing millionaire, philanthropist and a Labour life peer.

Early life and education[edit]

Gavron's grave in Highgate Cemetery.

Gavron was the eldest son of Nathan Gavron, a patent lawyer, and Leah Gavron. He was brought up in Hampstead Garden Suburb, north London, and studied at Leighton Park School in Reading and then at St Peter's College, Oxford. Gavron became a barrister and was called to the bar by Middle Temple in 1955.[1]


Gavron borrowed £5,000 to purchase a failing publishing house in 1964. He renamed it the St Ives Group and served as chairman from 1964 to 1993. He was the director of Octopus Publishing between 1975 and 1987 and Electra Management from 1981 to 1992. He was also the proprietor of the Carcanet Press from 1983 to 2015 and served as the chairman of the Folio Society, (1982–2015) and the National Gallery Co Ltd (1996–1998). He was both chairman of the Guardian Media Group and a trustee of the Scott Trust between 1997 and 2000.[1]

Gavron was chairman of the Open College of the Arts (1991–1996), a director of the Royal Opera House (1992–1998), a trustee of the National Gallery (1994–2001), and of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation (1987–2005). He was a governor of the London School of Economics (1997–2002) and chaired his own charitable trust, the Robert Gavron Charitable Trust (1974–2015). He was in 1996 elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.[2]


Gavron was active in the Labour Party and a financial contributor to the Labour Leader's Office Fund, run by Lord Levy, which financed Tony Blair's private office before the 1997 General Election.[citation needed] He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1990 Birthday Honours,[3] and received a life peerage as Baron Gavron, of Highgate in the London Borough of Camden, on 6 August 1999.[4] Gavron served on House of Lords, UK Parliament, Works of Art Committee from 1999 to 2003 and 2005 – 2009.[5] Gavron was a member of the Groucho and the MCC.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Gavron was married three times.[1] In 1955, he married Hannah Fyvel, the daughter of T. R. Fyvel who was literary editor of Tribune and The Jewish Chronicle. They had two sons before she took her own life in 1965. One son, Jeremy Gavron, a novelist, has written a book about the tragedy.[6]

In 1967, Gavron married Felicia Nicolette Coates, who later became a Labour member of the London Assembly, and is now known as Nicky Gavron. Before they divorced in 1987, the couple had two daughters including the film director Sarah Gavron. In 1989, Gavron married Katherine Gardiner (née Macnair).[1]

An MCC member, Gavron was a great supporter of cricket, especially in Barbados where he was an honorary life member of the Barbados Cricket Association.[7] He established the Lord Gavron Scholarship for promising young cricketers in 2001. Recipients are presented with a trophy, a computer, cricket equipment and an attachment to a cricket club overseas or the opportunity to study at a local institution.[8] Since 2010 two players, usually winners of the award, have spent a season with Sefton Park and Wavertree cricket clubs in England.[9][10][11] Winners of the award who have gone on to play Test cricket for the West Indies include Kemar Roach, Kraigg Brathwaite, Jason Holder, Jomel Warrican, Shane Dowrich and Shai Hope.

Having survived cancer and heart surgery, Gavron died of a heart attack on 7 February 2015 after playing tennis.[12][1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Lord Gavron of Highgate: Printing tycoon with keen sense of social". The Independent. 10 February 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Royal Society of Literature All Fellows". Royal Society of Literature. Archived from the original on 5 March 2010. Retrieved 8 August 2010.
  3. ^ "No. 52713". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 June 1990. p. 8.
  4. ^ "No. 55586". The London Gazette. 18 August 1999. p. 8907.
  5. ^ "Lord Gavron". UK Parliament. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  6. ^ Cooke, Rachel (1 November 2015). "Jeremy Gavron: 'My mother was a woman who looked for solutions. Suicide was a solution'". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  7. ^ author, Nation News. "Gavron Award to continue". Retrieved 17 April 2017. {{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  8. ^ "Region & WICB News – Report". Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  9. ^ "Welcome to Jomel Warrican". Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  10. ^ Bowman, Jamie (13 February 2015). "Liverpool cricket pays tribute to Lord Gavron following Labour peer's sudden death". Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  11. ^ "BCA and LCB to continue partnership | England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) - the Official Website of the ECB". Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  12. ^ Boffey, Daniel (7 February 2015). "Lord Gavron, former chair of the Guardian Media Group, dies aged 84". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 February 2015.

External links[edit]