William Stevenson’s literary life began at 12, ends at 89

Cathy Elliott —

Though saddened, we are celebrating the life of a formidable Champion Mentor, William H. Stevenson, British-born Canadian journalist and internationally renowned author. Stevenson passed away on November 26, 2013. He was 89.

William Stevenson’s books, notably “A Man Called Intrepid”, “Spymistress: The Life of Vera Atkins” and the account of his own life – “Past to Present: A Reporter’s Story of War, Spies, People, and Politics” became the inspiration for hundreds of DAREarts teens when he and his wife, Monika Jensen-Stevenson, conducted memoir writing workshops. They encouraged the teens to write about their own past, present and future. Some of them, like 15 year old Liz, have tragically eventful lives that could leave them bitter or spur them on to be as intrepid as Bill. Liz wrote, “DAREarts gave me another chance at life …”

Mr. Stevenson started writing at age twelve, the same age as many of our young people. A British naval pilot who served during the Second World War, Bill later became a foreign correspondent for The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail and the CBC. He went on to chronicle events grandly outlandish and witnessed at close range: conversations with Mao; the Dali Lama; Trotzky; manoeuvres in war planes; the assassination attempt by the CIA on Zhou Enlai. Many heads of state and world leaders befriended him. He inspired scores of kids to look at their own lives as adventures.

Mr. Stevenson is survived by his wife, Monika Jensen-Stevenson, their daughter Alexandra, his daughters Jackie and Sally and his son Andrew. His son Kevin predeceased him. A funeral service will be held at two o’clock pm on Monday, December 2nd at the Church of St. Paul’s Bloor Street, 227 Bloor St. East, Toronto.

To honour Bill’s memory, the Stevenson family has requested that donations be made in support of DAREarts. Donations can be made by clicking here: William Stevenson TributeStevensonbig

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