Nieman News

Man sitting at typewriter

Ian Menzies in The Boston Globe offices in Dorchester, Mass., in 1978. FILE PHOTO

Ian Menzies, a native of Glasgow, Scotland, and a journalist for seven decades, died on June 1, 2021, in Hingham Massachusetts. He was a 1962 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and worked for almost 40 years in various capacities at The Boston Globe.

Menzies began his journalism career as a teenager at The Glasgow Herald before joining the Royal Naval Reserves in 1939. During World War II, he served in the North Sea, the Atlantic, Africa and the Mediterranean. He received the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions as a lieutenant aboard the HMS Stayner, helping to place buoys in the ocean to guide ships to the beaches during the D-Day invasion of Normandy.

He chronicled his time in military service in his 2012 memoir “We Fought Them on the Seas: Seven Years in the Royal Navy,” based on diaries he kept during the war. He was 92 at the time of publication.

While stationed in Hingham, Massachusetts, after the war, he met and married Barbara Newton. They lived in Scotland briefly before returning to the U.S. In 1948, he was hired as a Globe staff reporter and covered events including the early years of the space race and the Mercury astronauts. He later served the Globe’s managing editor and wrote a weekly column, often on Boston, urban renewal and the environment, until he retired in 1985, at age 65.

After leaving the Globe, he became a senior fellow at the John McCormack Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He was a frequent contributor to a number of magazines and wrote weekly columns for The Patriot Ledger. He was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Public Service Award from American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1963, the year after his Nieman Fellowship.

Menzies is survived by four daughters: Marla Menzies Alexa Menzies, Deborah Menzies, and Gillian Menzies Cohan and husband John Cohan; two granddaughters; two great-grandchildren; and his companion, Claire Davies.