Remembering Joan Hollobon

CPRS National is saddened to announce the passing of Joan Hollobon, the award-winning journalist who was the medical reporter for The Globe and Mail from 1959-1985. Joan died on 3 April 2024 in Toronto; she was 104.

Joan Hollobon was a founding member of the Canadian Science Writers’ Association (CSWA) in 1971, and was elected the first female president of the CSWA in 1975.

A trail blazer for women in journalism, Joan Hollobon covered the medicare crisis in Canada in 1962, the state of psychiatric patient care in 1967, and won the first Science in Society Journalism Award in 1973 for a series published in The Globe and Mail about the first sex change operation in Canada.

As a leading journalist in Canada, Joan Hollobon also covered the funeral of President John F. Kennedy in Washington, DC in November 1963, and Canada’s centennial celebrations at EXPO 67 in Montreal in 1967.

Joan Hollobon was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2019, weeks before her 100th birthday, in recognition for her outstanding contribution to science journalism and communication in Canada.

The Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) created the annual Joan Hollobon Award in 1986 which is presented to a member of the media whose work has contributed significantly to the public's understanding of health care over the previous year. André Picard was the latest recipient to be presented with the Joan Hollobon Award in 2021.

In 2022, the annual National Newspaper Awards named one of its’ awards the Joan Hollobon Award for Beat Reporting in Joan’s honour.

Born on the Isle of Wight in 1920, Joan immigrated to Canada in 1952. She worked for two different newspapers in northern Ontario before she was hired by The Globe and Mail in Toronto in 1956, where she worked until her retirement in 1985.

A graveside gathering for Joan Hollobon’s interment will be held 17 June 2024 at the Necropolis in Toronto, Canada.

Read Joan's obituary, written by André Picard, past winner of The Joan Hollobon Award: "Tenacious journalist Joan Hollobon helped make medical stories front-page news"