Malcolm Muggeridge

From Academic Kids

Malcolm Muggeridge (March 24, 1903November 14, 1990) was a famous British journalist, author and media personality.

His father, H.T. Muggeridge, was a Labour councillor in Croydon, South London and, for a short time, a Member of Parliament. His mother was Annie Booler.

Malcolm attended Selwyn College at Cambridge University, graduating in 1924, and went to India to teach. While still a student he had taught for brief periods in 1920, 1922 and 1924 at the John Ruskin Central School, Croydon, where his father was Chairman of the Governors.

Returning to England in 1927, he married Katherine Dobbs (19031994), (also called Kathleen or Kitty) whose mother Rosalind Dobbs was a younger sister of Beatrice Webb. He worked as a supply teacher, before moving to teach in Egypt six months later. Here he also worked as a journalist for the first time.

They travelled to Moscow in 1932, where Malcolm was to be a correspondent for the Manchester Guardian; at the time they were sympathetic to Stalin's Soviet regime. Their attitude soon changed. Malcolm investigated at first hand reports of the famine in Ukraine, travelling there and to the Caucasus. Reports he sent back to the Guardian, evading censorship, were not fully printed; furthermore, contradictory stories were being written by Walter Duranty. Having come into conflict with the paper's editorial policy, Muggeridge lost his job. He then wrote a novel Winter In Moscow (1934), satirzing Western journalists uncritical of the Stalin regime, and began a writing partnership with Hugh Kingsmill. Muggeridge's politics changed as he moved from a socialist, possibly fellow-travelling position, to a right-wing stance that was no less destructive in its criticism, as it was hard to locate in party-political terms.

He worked on other papers, including the Calcutta Statesman, Evening Standard, and Daily Telegraph. He was editor of Punch magazine from 1953 to 1957, a challenging appointment for one who claimed to have no sense of humour. He also became a popular BBC correspondent and interviewer (and also a figure of fun).

Muggeridge was also the "discoverer" of Mother Teresa, whom he first met in London in 1968. He told the world about her deeds through a book called Something Beautiful for God. He was well-known for his wit and profound writings ("Never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream"). He wrote a two volume autobiography called Chronicles of Wasted Time.

In A Third Testament (, he profiles seven spiritual thinkers who influenced his life: Augustine of Hippo, William Blake, Blaise Pascal, Leo Tolstoy, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Søren Kierkegaard, and Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Having been a high-profile agnostic for most of his life, he converted to Roman Catholicism at the age of 79.

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