He had battled Parkinson’s Disease for many years.
Knowlton Nash, a decorated Canadian journalist who went from selling newspapers as a boy in Toronto to serving a decade as anchor of CBC’s The National, has died at age 86.
Born Cyril Knowlton Nash in Toronto in 1927, it didn’t take him long to find his calling. At eight years old, he put together his own newspaper. At 10, he operated his own newsstand. Later, during his first big journalism job as night editor with the British United Press, a Toronto-based wire service, he wrote an estimated 4,000 articles.
“Journalism has been the love of my life,” Nash told The Canadian Press in 2006.
Journalism loved him back.
Shortly after taking a job in Washington with the International Federation of Agricultural Producers — during which he moonlighted as a freelance writer filing stories for a range of Canadian publications — Nash landed a job as Washington correspondent for CBC’s Newsmagazine. The high-profile role and his legendary work ethic thrust him into the spotlight.
During the post, he tracked down Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara for an exclusive interview. He was one of the last reporters to interview Robert F. Kennedy before the New York senator’s assassination in 1968. Nash also dodged gunfire in the Dominican Republic as U.S. forces fought with rebels, something he later had some fun with on the program Front Page Challenge.
“I don’t put myself first. I put work first,” Nash said, during a CBC Life and Times documentary released in 2001.
Move to management
In Washington, Nash went on to cover the Cuban missile crisis, space launches at Cape Canaveral and the riots surrounding the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. But in 1969, he took a management role at the CBC, a career move that surprised many of his colleagues.
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