Peter Harvey, veteran journalist at the Nine Network for almost 40 years, has died at the age of 68 from cancer. His family were by his bedside.
His career started at The Daily Telegraph in Sydney, winning a Walkley Award in 1964. He went on to work for Newsweek magazine, covering significant stories including the Vietnam War, and for London’s The Guardian newspaper.
He joined the Nine Network in 1975. For most of his time at Nine he was the network’s Canberra correspondent, covering all the political events from the national capital. His tagline at the end of each news story — “Peter Harvey… Canberra” — became his renowned signature.
He left his post in Canberra in 1997 and in more recent years had been a contributor to Nine News, Sunday and Today. Since 2003 he had presented the mailbag segment on 60 Minutes.
Last month he was interviewed on ABC‘s One Plus One program.
In 2012 he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Earlier this week he was admitted to hospital, triggering an outpouring of supportive messages on social media from his colleagues, peers, friends and those who he inspired.
Nine Entertainment Co. chief executive David Gyngell has issued a statement paying tribute to the veteran journalist:
On behalf of everyone at Nine I extend our heartfelt sympathies to Peter’s wife Anne and their children Claire and Adam. Their loss is profound and our thoughts and prayers are with them.
Likewise, this is the saddest of days for the Nine Network. Peter Harvey — Harves as he is known to everyone – is and will remain an indelible part of Nine. Like Tony Greig who we also lost so sadly recently, Peter was a huge chunk of the DNA of this place. He will consequently always be a legend at Nine.
Peter’s legacy will be his continuous highly quality award-winning journalism for the better part of five decades, and the huge respect of his peers across Australian journalism and politics. And that of young journalists wherever he worked, for whom his time, advice and warmth was legendary.But beyond that, Peter Harvey so clearly won the respect and friendship of his audience – the millions of people who came to trust him, and enjoy what he did and the special way he did it.
He was a larger-than-life figure. A wonderful story teller and a lovable, generous big bloke with a huge heart and that distinctive one-in-a-million voice. A man who loved his family above all, then his craft which he honed to an art form, and then his colleagues. And who could laugh at himself and the rest of us, and make us all smile.
Peter Harvey will be fondly and deeply missed.
Peter Harvey is survived by his wife, Anne, his children Claire and Adam, and his grandson Rory.