Allan Fotheringham (August 31, 1932 — August 19, 2020) was a Canadian newspaper and magazine journalist. He was widely known by the nickname Dr. Foth and styled himself as, “Always controversial… never at a loss for words” and also as “the Great Gatheringfroth”.
Life and career
Fotheringham was born in Hearne, Saskatchewan. His father died when he was two, and his mother re-married, with Allan taking his stepfather’s surname Fotheringham. He attended Chilliwack Secondary School, where he was active in student leadership. Upon graduation he studied English and political science at the University of British Columbia and worked at a variety of media outlets during his career. He was best known as a columnist, originally at the Ubyssey, a student newspaper. He was hired straight out of university by the Vancouver Sun during the heady times of the late 1960s, the final days of the old BennettSocreds provincially and the advent of Pierre Trudeau federally. Fotheringham’s columns and commentaries brought him national attention as well as wider syndication and a broader subject base. He was one of the leading specialists in explaining the world of British Columbia politics during his time at the Sun.He later wrote for Maclean’s, where his column appeared on the back page of the magazine for 27 years. Fotheringham’s column was so widely read and so influential that he is said to have made Maclean’s “the magazine people read from back to front.” Some of his more memorable political nicknames include “the brogue that walks and talks like a man” (for Jack Webster) and its offspring, “the jaw that walks and talks like a man” (for Brian Mulroney). He is credited with coining the terms Natural Governing Party for the federal Liberals, and the Holy Mother Corporation for the CBC in the course of writing his column. His columns occasionally opened with the exclamation “Zowie, Dr. Foth!”
Holy, Dr. Foth! What sad news.
Allan Fotheringham was unlike observers of his day and any other. His columns, editorials and magazine pages made sense, friends and enemies. Usually with a smile. He soldiered on regardless.
Condolences to those he leaves behind.
Brilliant observer of ‘The Canadian Scene’ … Dr.Foth, thanks for your unique observations, and the entertaining way you penned them.
Thankly you retired before the PC generation gained a foothold…
We sure could use his voice now.
Politically incorrect? Maybe. But only those not paying attention will forget the good doctor skewered both right and left equally.
What a field day he’d have with both Trudeau Junior and Trump.