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Ion Trewin 1943-2015

Ion Trewin 1943-2015


It was with enormous sadness that the Trustees of the Booker Prize Foundation announced the death of the Foundation’s Literary Director, Ion Trewin, on 8 April 2015.


In October of last year, Ion was diagnosed with untreatable cancer. He was determined to continue with his responsibilities until such time as this was not possible and so has been involved with the current panel of judges until now.


Ion’s working life was devoted to books and literature.


The former Literary Editor of The Times, he then worked at Weidenfeld & Nicolson, as Publishing Director, Managing Director and finally Editor-in-Chief until his retirement in 2006. He had a strong relationship with many leading authors, be they literary or public figures. He edited the widely acclaimed Alan Clark Diaries, and later wrote Clark’s biography.


He had a long history of involvement with the Man Booker Prize. In 1974, he chaired the judging panel of the prize. In 1989, he became a member of its management committee (which in 2002 became the Advisory Committee of the Booker Prize Foundation).  In 2006, he succeeded Martyn Goff as Administrator (the role which has now become the Literary Director of the Foundation), and also as chair of the Advisory Committee. It is a poignant coincidence that Martyn died only two weeks before Ion.


In addition to his many other literary activities and interests, Ion was a visiting professor at the School of Politics and International Relations at Nottingham University where he contributed his expertise on political biography and political diaries.


Jonathan Taylor, Chair of the Trustees of the Booker Prize Foundation, commented:


‘Ion will be sadly missed not only by his many, many friends but also more widely in the literary world.


‘His calm, courteous and avuncular demeanour masked a sharp intelligence, shrewd diplomatic skills, a great sense of humour and huge knowledge of and affection for books and book people.


‘In his years as Administrator and subsequently as Literary Director, he helped guide the Man Booker Prize through evolution and development while ensuring stability, continuity and, most important, an effective, efficient, independent  judging process.


Our heartfelt condolences go to Ion’s wife Sue, his children Simon and Maria, and his four grandchildren.'


Ion is succeeded as Literary Director of the Booker Prize Foundation by Gaby Wood . Gaby will take over full responsibility for the Man Booker Prize at the conclusion of this year’s prize, for which her father, Michael Wood, is chairman of the judges. The literary direction of the 2015 prize will in the interim be handled by Fiammetta Rocco, Administrator of the Man Booker International Prize and Books and Arts Editor of The Economist.


A funeral service for Ion Courtenay Gill Trewin was held at St Mary Magdalene Church, Sandringham, at 2pm on 23 April 2015.


A memorial service will take place in London at a later date.


If you would like to offer your condolences to the Trewin family, please leave a private message on the condolences page. If you would prefer to send your condolences by post, please address any letters to:


The Trewin Family, c/o Four Colman Getty, 20 St Thomas Street, London, SE1 9BF


 A book of condolences for Ion Trewin will be held at The Garrick Club until 15 May 2015.


You can read an obituary from Michael Prodger here.


A number of obituaries have been published and appear online. You can read them here.


Man Booker Prize director Ion Trewin dies at 71BBC News 


Ion Trewin obituaryThe Guardian


Ion Trewin, bookman - obituary - DailyTelegraph


Ion TrewinThe Times


Death of Ion TrewinThe Bookseller 


Ion Trewin: Guiding hand behind lauded big-name biographies who became the literary director of the Man Booker prizes - The Independent


Obituary: Ion Trewin, author and publisherThe Scotsman