Robert Fisk Wiki – Biography
Robert Fisk was a writer and journalist who held British and Irish nationality, has died. Fisk won numerous awards for his reporting on the Middle East, starting from the 1970s. But he also drew controversy for his sharp criticism of the US and Israel, and of Western foreign policy.
Covering wars in the Balkans, Middle East and North Africa for UK newspapers over five decades, the New York Times described him in 2005 as “probably the most famous foreign correspondent in Britain”.
Born in Maidstone, Kent in 1946, he later took Irish citizenship and had a home in Dalkey outside the capital Dublin.
Robert Fisk was educated at Yardley Court, a preparatory school, then at Sutton Valence School and Lancaster University, where he worked on the student magazine John O’Gauntlet. He gained a PhD in Political Science, from Trinity College Dublin in 1983, the title of his doctoral thesis was “A condition of limited warfare: Éire’s neutrality and the relationship between Dublin, Belfast and London, 1939–1945
Robert Fisk Age
Robert Fisk has died at the age of 74-years-old.
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Family & Siblings
Fisk was an only child, born in Maidstone, Kent. His father William (‘Bill’) Fisk (1899–1992) was Borough Treasurer at Maidstone Corporation and had fought in the First World War. At the end of the war Bill Fisk was punished for disobeying an order to execute another soldier; his son said, “My father’s refusal to kill another man was the only thing he did in his life which I would also have done.” Though his father said little about his part in the war, it held a fascination for his son. After his father’s death, he discovered him to have been the scribe of his battalion’s war diaries from August 1918.
Fisk joined The Independent in 1989, after falling out with the Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper The Times, which he had initially joined as Northern Ireland correspondent in 1972.
During his decades-long career, he covered key international events including the Lebanese civil war, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Iranian revolution, Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, conflicts in the Balkans and the Arab Spring.
The Irish Times said he was planning a return to the Middle East shortly before his death.
“The world of journalism and informed commentary on the Middle East had lost one of its finest commentators,” Irish President Michael Higgins said in a statement, paying tribute to a man he said he had known since the 1990s.
Fisk was particularly renowned for his war reporting.
He won the Orwell Prize for Journalism, as well as receiving the British Press Awards International Journalist of the Year and Foreign Reporter of the Year on several occasions.
Fisk was one of the few western reporters to interview al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
But Fisk’s reporting also stirred controversy.
He was accused by critics of siding with the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his reporting on the Syrian war.
His books included The Point of No Return: The Strike Which Broke the British in Ulster; Pity the Nation: Lebanon at War; and The Great War for Civilisation – The Conquest of the Middle East.
Journalists and columnists in the Middle East and around the world paid tribute to Fisk on Twitter, calling him “fearless”, a “giant in journalism” and one of the “few honest Western chroniclers of the war & intrigues imposed on the Middle East”.
Many also, however, took issue with his coverage of the Syrian war.
Wife & Children
He married American-born journalist Lara Marlowe in 1994. They divorced in 2006—there were no children.
Cause of Death
Veteran journalist Robert Fisk, who for decades covered events in the Middle East and elsewhere as a foreign correspondent for the British newspaper The Independent, has died after suffering a suspected stroke at his Dublin home.
Fisk became unwell on Friday and was admitted to St Vincent’s hospital where he died a short time later, the Irish Times reported on Sunday.
He was 74-years-old.
He was admitted to St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin after falling ill at his home on Friday, and died shortly afterwards, the Irish Times reported.
Robert Fisk – you great, great hack: who will I sit for hours with in Beirut to grumble about the world! May your ink never dry….. pic.twitter.com/jCasXjX5ki
— Vijay Prashad (@vijayprashad) November 1, 2020
RIP Robert Fisk, one of the few honest Western chroniclers of the wars & intrigues imposed on the Middle East & sharpest critics of the absurd language pundits and politicians reflexively resorted to to paper over their colonial relationship w/ the region https://t.co/2T2DBHhnmc
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) November 1, 2020
The Independent paid tribute to a journalist who was “renowned for his courage in questioning official narratives” and publishing “frequently brilliant prose”.
Robert Fisk was a giant in journalism. Whilst others were spoon-fed lies, he challenged the narrative of the powerful. Fearless & unflinching, he was 'controversial' for all the right reasons. His death leaves a huge void in foreign reportage. pic.twitter.com/T3xHsstvbi
— Suzanne Breen (@SuzyJourno) November 1, 2020
Journalists have paid tribute to Fisk on social media, among them the BBC’s Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen.
Way too young. I liked and respected Robert. One day in South Lebanon when I arrived from the wars in former Yugoslavia he sniffed my flak jacket (he wasn’t a fan of body armour) and claimed he smelt slivovitza. I retaliated by saying I’d read his reports at school. RIP Fisk https://t.co/73NJyGnWjK
— Jeremy Bowen (@BowenBBC) November 1, 2020
The last 10 years of life were spent as an apologist for Assad, whitewashing massacres in Daraya, Eastern Ghouta, Khan Sheikhoun and Douma. He also slandered doctors and rescue workers and built stories out of prisoner testimonies extracted under duress. https://t.co/Hgd7xfSdnu
— Idrees Ahmad (@im_PULSE) November 1, 2020