Gurgaon: Eminent journalist BG Verghese, a Ramon Magsaysay award winner and former editor of leading dailies Hindustan Times and Indian Express, died in Gurgaon today at the age of 87 after brief illness.
Mr Verghese was diagnosed for dengue a month back and was suffering from low-grade fever and weakness for last couple of weeks. He was survived by his wife Jamila and sons Vijay and Rahul.
“He was suffering from a variety of complications. The dengue had accelerated his weakness as his bodily resistance had come down. He had a bad coughing spell yesterday and breathed his last around 6 PM,” his son Rahul said.
Mr Verghese, who authored many books, was editor of Hindustan Times from 1969 to 1975 and The Indian Express from 1982 to 1986. He was also information adviser to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi from 1966 to 1969 but was critical of her for imposing the Emergency in 1975.
Born on June 21, 1927, Mr Verghese did his schooling at the Doon School. He had graduated in Economics from the St Stephen’s College, Delhi and did his Master’s degree from Trinity College, Cambridge.
A crusader for civil rights, Mr Verghese has long worked on problems of development. He was part of the Editors Guild of India Fact Finding Mission after the Gujarat riots in 2002.
His books include Waters of hope, India’s North East, Fourth Estate (2005) and his autobiography First Draft: Witness to Making of Modern India.
Post Haste: Quintessential India, which delves on India’s ancient heritage and its diverse people, was his last book that was released early this year.
Mr Verghese was also working on a number of books which remained unfinished.