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Obituary: Jerry Norton

Jerry Norton, who worked more than 25 years for Reuters in senior correspondent and editorial desk positions mainly in Asia, died on 15 December in a rehab centre in the Washington, DC, area after a 14-month battle with a brain tumour. He was 67.

He had retired at the end of 2011 from Thomson Reuters, where his last job was in the Washington bureau, and then worked as executive director of the Young America's Foundation National Journalism Center in 2012 and 2013 until he became ill.

Norton was Reuters bureau chief in Indonesia and Singapore, news editor in Japan and also held editor jobs in Hong Kong and Singapore. He travelled on assignments for Reuters to Pakistan, Sri Lanka, China, East Timor, the Philippines and various other countries.

Before joining Reuters, he was business editor of Hong Kong's leading English-language newspaper, and worked in Asia, London and the United States for Commodity News Service.

Norton hailed from Oregon, graduating Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Oregon Honors College, where he first associated himself with the Young America’s Foundation. He served in the US Army in Vietnam, winning a Purple Heart and other decorations, and then attended Columbia University where he earned a master’s degree from its Graduate School of Journalism.

He was twice president of the Singapore Foreign Correspondents Association. 

Norton is survived by his wife, Kim, and son, Michael.

Brian Bain said Norton, with whom he worked for several years in Hong Kong and Singapore, will be remembered as one of Reuters’ top correspondents and editors and a person always ready to help and advise colleagues. A tribute by the Young America’s Foundation echoed what everyone who knew and worked with him surely feels. “We will miss his sharp mind, great sense of humor, half crooked smile and mild-mannered presence,” the tribute stated. 


PHOTO: Jerry Norton was a member of the Reuters Singapore team which consistently won the weekly Trivia Night contest at the American Club. From left to right: Jerry Norton, Eric Hall, Dan Sloan, Brian Rhoads, Brian Bain, Barbara Bain, Graham Hillier. ■