RALPH ALLEN was a great editor. During the years he directed Maclean’s — the decade 1950 to 1960 — he made an immeasurable contribution to his profession and his country. He became a symbol of excellence in a craft that knows too little of it. He began with the belief that a national Canadian magazine could and should achieve the highest international standards of reporting and writing, and to this end he worked tirelessly. He demanded of his staff and his contributors the most strenuous efforts, and they responded by turning themselves into accomplished and mature journalists. He set his standards impossibly high, and then he achieved them. Under his leadership, Maclean’s took its proper place as a central institution in Canadian life; when he resigned he left behind him, for all those who edit and write the magazine, a heritage of pride. In 1964 he became managing editor of the Toronto Daily Star and there, too, he set his sights high. On December 2, when he died, he was only fifty-three. His life, rich in accomplishment, was still full of promise. He had novels still to write, papers still to edit, young journalists still to encourage. Death took him much too soon, and left a whole generation of Canadian journalists mourning their loss.
The story you want is part of the Maclean’s Archives. To access it, log in here or sign up for your free 30-day trial.
Experience anything and everything Maclean's has ever published — over 3,500 issues and 150,000 articles, images and advertisements — since 1905. Browse on your own, or explore our curated collections and timely recommendations.WATCH THIS VIDEO for highlights of everything the Maclean's Archives has to offer.