Robert Fulford in suit and tie, age 23

Brief Biography

Robert Fulford has worked as a journalist for over 70 years. During his rich and varied career as a reporter, author, broadcaster and editor, he's written extensively about jazz, the visual arts, architecture, city planning, museums, archeology, literature, theatre, film and politics—local, national and international, concentrating on Canada-US relations, European affairs, the Soviet Union, the Middle East and Japan.

Robert Marshall Blount Fulford was born in Ottawa on February 13, 1932 to Frances (Blount) Fulford and A.E. ("Ab") Fulford, a journalist with the Canadian Press. He grew up in Toronto's Beach district, where his neighbour and best friend was pianist Glenn Gould. By age 16 he was reporting on high school sports and producing a weekly teen radio show for CHUM. He became a Globe and Mail reporter in 1950, at age 18, and went on to work on the editorial staff of magazines such as Maclean's. In the 1960s he wrote a daily column about books and art for the Toronto Star and hosted a weekly CBC radio show on the arts. He covered Expo '67 for the Star and wrote the book This Was Expo.

In 1968 he began nearly two decades as the Editor of Saturday Night magazine, where he contributed a monthly "Notebook" column and continued writing about film as "Marshall Delaney." Robert Fulford's books include a 1968 collection of his columns, Crisis at the Victory Burlesk: Culture, Politics and Other Diversions, and the 1974 collection Marshall Delaney at the Movies: The Contemporary World as Seen on Film.

From 1982 to 1989 he was the co-host, with Richard Gwyn, of the TVOntario interview program Realities.

His writing on the visual arts includes Harold Town Drawings (introduction and text, 1968); An Introduction to the Arts in Canada (1977); The Beginning of Vision: The Drawings of Lawren S. Harris (co-authored with Joan Murray, 1982); and introductions and essays in dozens of art books and exhibition catalogues, as well as many newspaper and magazine articles.

After resigning from Saturday Night in 1987, Robert Fulford wrote Best Seat in the House: Memoirs of a Lucky Man (1988) and taught journalism for several years at Ryerson Polytechnic University and the Banff Centre for the Arts. In 1989 he began donating his papers to McMaster University Libraries.

From 1992 to 1999 his column appeared once a week in the Globe and Mail, and in 1991 he began writing longer articles for Queen's Quarterly, expanding the number of National Magazine Awards he's received to 17.

His book Accidental City: The Transformation of Toronto was published in 1995. His 1999 CBC Massey Lectures were published as The Triumph of Narrative: Storytelling in the Age of Mass Culture.

His columns appeared regularly in the National Post from 1999 to 2019. His book A Life in Paragraphs: Essays was published in September 2020.

In recognition of his work to date he has been the recipient of many awards and honours.

Robert Fulford is married to journalist and author Geraldine Sherman; he has four children and two grandchildren.

Photo: Robert Fulford as Assistant Editor of Mayfair magazine, 1955.
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