WEBSTER, Jack (Obit)

Author Tags: Journalism

Jack Webster was B.C.'s best-known broadcaster. Born in Glasgow on April 15, 1918, he left school at age 14 to work for a newspaper. After service in World War, he worked as a journalist on Fleet Street until immigrating to Canada in 1947. He worked for the Vancouver Sun, then switched to radio in 1953 with long stints at CJOR and CKNW. Webster switched from his radio open-line show to replicating a similar format for television in 1978. Webster retired from BCTV in 1987 and was inducted that year into the Canadian News Hall of Fame. His autobiography Webster! (D&M 1990) looks beyond his much-glorified media career, during which he was once taken hostage while mediating a B.C. Penitentiary upheaval in 1963, and reveals some of his personal struggles as a family man in West Vancouver. The son of a Glasgow iron worker, Webster had married his teenage sweetheart after persuading her to give up their child, then learned his wife had successfully traced their long-lost child 36 years later. In his retirement Jack Webster enjoyed his farm on Saltspring Island and received the Order of Canada in 1988. The 'Websters' are annual awards presented for journalism in British Columbia, coordinated by the Jack Webster Foundation. He died in 1999.

[BCBW 2003] "Journalism"