The Age journalist Michael Gordon dies at 62 after suspected heart attack

Michael Gordon – a long-serving Fairfax journalist who in November took home the Outstanding Contribution to Journalism Award at the 62nd Annual Walkley Awards – has passed away at the age of 62.

Gordon’s 1973 press pass. Source: The Walkley Foundation

According to The Age he was participating in an ocean swim at Phillip Island and pulled from the water just prior to 10:30am.

The Age reports emergency services personnel spent more than an hour trying to resuscitate him.

Gordon joined Fairfax Media’s The Age in 1973 at the age of 17.

He became political editor at the paper in 2013.

In June last year, Gordon announced he was stepping down from the role, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull paying tribute to his contributions to journalism.

“Michael, you’ve always struck me as a writer with an elegant pen and a big heart; someone who saw journalism as a means for making a difference, not merely a living. We will miss you – and I say that even after reacquainting myself with some of your most recent columns,” Turnbull said at the time, according to Fairfax reports.

In November, Gordon won the Outstanding Contribution to Journalism Award in Brisbane at the 62nd Annual Walkley Awards.

At the ceremony Gordon said he was “overwhelmed”, “humbled” and “delighted” to receive the honour.

“45 years ago, I walked into The Age building as a 17 year old, naive and shy, and I want to thank everyone who has been part of a wondrous journey ever since.

“My biggest debt is to those whose stories I’ve told, whose courage and honesty and integrity in the face of great hardship and discrimination has been an inspiration.”

Gordon was still contributing to Fairfax publications as recently as last week.

CEO of Fairfax Media Greg Hywood issued a statement on behalf of the media company:

“Michael Gordon was not merely one of the great journalists of his generation he was one of the most loved.

“His passing is a tragedy for all who knew him and respected his enormous contribution to the national debate.

“His 40-plus year body of work on politics, indigenous affairs and refugees reflected his basic values of care, fairness and scrupulous honesty.

“But beyond that… he was a wonderful man.

“Our deepest sympathy goes to his wife Robyn and children, Scott and Sarah, and his broader family.”

Tributes from politicians, competitors and co-workers have been flooding in on Twitter.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.