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Maurice James (Maurie) McCarthy (1890–1962)

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Maurice James (Maurie) McCarthy (1890-1962) journalist, trade unionist and political activist

Birth: 1890 at Sydney, New South Wales, son of native-born parents Timothy Joseph McCarthy (1862-1947), carter, and Ellen, née O’Gorman (1862-1914). Marriage: 1925 at Sydney to native-born Muriel Ellen Hourigan. They had two sons. Death: 29 August 1962 in hospital at Zetland, Sydney; usual residence Shirley Crescent, Matraville, Sydney. Religion: Catholic. 

  • Educated at the Marist Brothers Sacred Heart School, Darlinghurst.
  • Joined literary staff of the Sydney Sun in 1912. Worked on Daily Telegraph and The World at various times.
  • Foundation member of the Australian Journalists’ Association. Press secretary of the Darlinghurst (Sydney) Political Labor League in 1912. Australian Labor Party candidate in city council election in 1913? Delegate to 1914 and 1915 conferences, where he advocated Catholic rights in the matter of education. Was prominent in Labor circles until his death.
  • In 1915 was appointed press secretary to the NSW Catholic Federation.
  • Sydney representative for New Zealand Press Association. Chief sub-editor of Truth (Sydney) in 1925. Worked in Newcastle. Appointed editor of the Sunday Times in 1927, he clashed with H. D. McIntosh who sacked him.
  • News editor for the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) during much of WWII, he was dismissed by Charles Moses (who had called him “a damnable liar”, in response McCarthy called him a “lousy Pommy mongrel”) in October 1946. His claim for wrongful dismissal failed.
  • One time racing editor of the Brisbane Daily Standard. Turf writer under the nom de plume of ‘Ormonde’, Brisbane.
  • Editor of the Australian Worker, the journal for the Australian Workers’ Union, from 1950 to 1962.
  • Cause of death: acute pulmonary oedema, coronary occlusion, diabetes and toxaemia.
  • His brother Michael Joseph (Joe) McCarthy (1889-1964) was sporting editor on the Brisbane Courier Mail from 1915 and wrote under the pen-name ‘The Harvester’. He retired in 1944 and moved to Sydney where he was one of the “best known figures’ in its racing world and continued to contribute to the press on turf topics for several years.

The Journalist
, October 1962 p 6.

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Citation details

'McCarthy, Maurice James (Maurie) (1890–1962)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 13 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Ormonde

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


29 August, 1962 (aged ~ 72)
Zetland, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Key Organisations
Political Activism