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Ion Trewin 1943-2015

Ion Trewin 1943-2015

It is with enormous sadness that the Trustees of the Booker Prize Foundation announce the death, earlier today, of the Foundation’s Literary Director, Ion Trewin.


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, comments:


‘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.'


The Trustees of the Booker Prize Foundation will announce Ion’s successor in the near future. In the meantime, Fiammetta Rocco (who is the Administrator of the Man Booker International Prize) will take on Ion’s role for the remaining 2015 Man Booker Prize cycle, with support from the various members of the Man Booker team.


Please click here to go through to a dedicated condolences page. There will also be a book of condolences for Ion Trewin at the London Book Fair. From 14-16 April, book fair visitors will be able to visit the reception desk of the Orion / Hachette Stand (stand number: 6 C50) at Olympia to add their condolences. 


An obituary and appreciation of Ion can be found here


The Trustees would ask everyone to respect the family’s need for privacy at this time. No further comment will be made.


A funeral service for Ion Courtenay Gill Trewin will be held at St Mary Magdalene Church, Sandringham, at 2pm on 23 April 2015, followed by private cremation. After the funeral, there will be a reception next to the church. Please confirm with Hannah McMillan if you wish to attend. A memorial service will take place in London at a later date.


No flowers, donations if so desired to Sandringham Church Restoration Fund and the Norfolk Hospice Tapping House in person at the funeral or by cheque made out to John Lincoln Funeral Director c/o 40 Greevegate,Hunstanton,Norfolk PE36 6AG.