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August 23, 1929
March 22, 2017


Author Ralph Hancox

British-born Ralph Hancox had a lively publishing and writing career spanning more than 60 years. He arrived in Canada in 1955, after five years as an R.A.F pilot, with his Canadian-born wife, Margaret (she’d been to the UK to be a spectator at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II). They brought with them their daughter Linda—at three months old. Subsequently they became happy parents to three more children, Kenrick, born in Kingston, and Alison and Julian, both born in Peterborough. All of their progeny have since rewarded their parents with active careers—and families of their own—from New Brunswick to British Columbia.

After a two-year stint as a reporter at The Kingston Whig Standard, Hancox—in his spare time from family care—became editor-in-chief of The Peterborough Examiner, followed by an appointment as editor-in-chief of the Canadian edition of Reader’s Digest magazine. An accumulation of business and management experience gathered along the way resulted in his appointment as chairman, president, and CEO of Reader’s Digest Canada, which he guided for more than two decades. He also spent a year at Harvard, as the Canadian Nieman Fellow, six months at Harvard Business School, and two years as Consigliere delegato and chairman of the board of Reader’s Digest Italy. He has authored, what have been said, by friends, to be a number of learned papers, and has delivered numerous speeches on magazine publishing and public policy.

After he retired from his career at the Reader's Digest, Ralph joined Simon Fraser University, where he worked as Adjunct Professor in the late 1990s. He worked with Anne Cowan-Buitenaus and Rowland Lorimer in the newly established Master of Publishing Program, whose creation was funded by the Reader's Digest Foundation of Canada. Ralph served as Adjunct Professor and Professional Fellow Emeritus at Simon Fraser University where he published a textbook, Managing the Publishing Process, for the Canadian Center for Studies in Publishing. There, he was honored with the Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Service for 10 years of teaching before he retired again at the age of 80, in 2009.

In his second “retirement” in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, Hancox kept up a prodigious output: a memoir (Vanity, Profanity—All is Insanity); a compilation of humorous correspondence between himself and the late Peterborough artist, Robert B. Porter (Dear Mr Porter, Sir…); and several novels, including The Fabufestan Exposés (Con Job and Scandalous), and The Ape & the Peacock.

A Memorial Scholarship in Ralph Hancox's name was established in 2017 to honour Ralph’s commitment to the publishing industry and his dedication to his students at Simon Fraser University’s Master in Publishing Program. The purpose of the scholarship is to support the edutation of a master’s student, while recognizing that Ralph valued education, writing and a wondering mind and his students who demonstrated these qualities.



The Inspiration behind The Fabubestsan Exposés


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