Peter Ryan, Newspaper columnist, Died at 92


Peter Allen Ryan was born on September 4, 1923, and died on December 13, 2015.

He was a newspaper columnist, author, World War II spy, director of Melbourne University Press and an officer of the Victorian Supreme Court.

The son of a World War I veteran, Peter was educated at Malvern Grammar School, near his home at Glen Iris in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.

He left school at 16 to work in the Victorian public service, but as soon as he turned 18, he enlisted in the army to fight in World War II.

Peter served as an intelligence operative behind enemy lines in New Guinea for eighteen months, much of the time alone.

He was awarded the Military Medal and mentioned in despatches.

His 1959 book Fear Drive My Feet is his famous account of his experiences.

On his return to Australia, Peter served under Alf Conlon at the Directorate of Research and Civil Affairs.

Peter studied at the University of Melbourne from 1946, graduating BA with honours.

He married in 1947, and worked as a freelance writer, then in advertising, then as Public Relations Manager with ICI in Melbourne.

Peter was Director of Melbourne University Press from 1962 to 1989.

Peter wrote about these years in his memoir Final Proof (2010).

A selection of these columns was published in 2011 under the title It Strikes Me.

Peter Allen Ryan passed away on December 13, 2015 at the age of 92.