Steve Dunleavy

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Stephen Francis Patrick Aloysius "Steve" Dunleavy (born 21 January 1938) is a journalist best known as a columnist for the New York Post. He was a lead reporter on the tabloid television program A Current Affair in the 1980s and 1990s.

Life and career[edit]

Dunleavy was born in Sydney, Australia. He began his career in Australia in 1953 as a copy boy for The Sun, where his father worked as a photographer.[1] He moved to The Daily Mirror, an evening newspaper then owned by Ezra Norton. He later worked in Hong Kong for The South China Morning Post, and freelanced in Japan, India, Greece, Italy, Spain and England.[1]

Arriving in New York City on New Year's Eve, 1966 with 10 dollars in his pocket,[1] he worked as a correspondent for London newspapers. He joined the New York Post as a news reporter after Rupert Murdoch purchased the newspaper in 1977.

Like Gordon Elliott, another Australian television personality, he helped create the US tabloid television market in the 1980s; both were reporters for A Current Affair.[2]


Dunleavy's irreverent shock-jock style was the model for actor Robert Downey Jr.'s performance as Wayne Gale in Oliver Stone's film Natural Born Killers. Downey spent time with Dunleavy as part of preparing for the role.

DuMond controversy[edit]

Dunleavy controversially wrote a series of articles in defence of Wayne DuMond, a Vietnam veteran who was convicted of rape in Arkansas in 1984, questioning the justice of DuMond's sentence and conviction. DuMond's sentence was eventually reduced to the point where he was paroled; within a year of his release, he went on to rape and murder two women in Missouri. This Willie Horton-like incident resurfaced as a political issue during the 2008 presidential election, since it was Republican candidate Mike Huckabee who secured DuMond's parole while governor of Arkansas.

Beltway Sniper controversy[edit]

In his column of 17 October 2002 regarding the Beltway sniper attacks, Dunleavy wrote, "If when the shooter is caught, if he is not a foreigner, I will bare my derriere in Macy’s window." The shooter, John Lee Malvo was born in Jamaica and entered the United States illegally with his mother. [3]


After a 55-year career, Dunleavy retired with a celebration on 1 October 2008 that was attended by 400 colleagues and friends. Those who honored Dunleavy included News Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch, Post Editor-in-Chief Col Allan, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Uniformed Firefighters Association President Steve Cassidy and former A Current Affair host Maury Povich, accompanied by his wife, Connie Chung.


In 1977, in association with three of Elvis Presley's former bodyguards, Dunleavy published the paperback Elvis: What Happened? (ISBN 978-0345272157) which investigated Presley's life behind the scenes. It was published on 1 August, just two weeks before Presley's death on 16 August. This was the first book that focused on Presley's addiction to prescription drugs. Following Presley's death in August 1977, the book sold more than 1 million copies.

Personal life[edit]

His first wife was Yvonne Dunleavy, a fellow Australian and the ghostwriter of The Happy Hooker. His second wife is named Gloria.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d John Cassidy, "The hell-raiser", Sydney Morning Herald, 9 December 2000, Good Weekend, p. 80
  2. ^ Tabloid Baby
  3. ^

External links[edit]