Pakistani journalist Zawwar Hasan, a Nieman Fellow in the class of 1967, died in San Francisco on Oct. 1, 2022, after a brief illness. He was 96.
During his long career in journalism, Hasan worked as a sports reporter, editorial writer, travel magazine editor and a public affairs manager.
He was born in Pratapgarh, India, in 1926 and earned his LLB from Allahabad University before moving to Pakistan. In 1949, he started working as a sports journalist with the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) in Karachi and later became APP’s chief correspondent in Lahore.
In 1960, he joined the daily Dawn as chief reporter. From there, he went on to work as a senior editorial writer at The Morning News in Karachi and also worked for The Sun.
In 1957, he attended the University of Missouri School of Journalism’s Project for Foreign Newspapermen. His training fellowship included time at The Denver Post, in Denver, Colorado; The Lawrence Daily Journal-World, in Lawrence, Kansas; and The Mexico Ledger, in Mexico, Missouri.
Following his 95th birthday in 2021, Hasan’s niece Beena Sarwar, a journalist and a 2006 Nieman Fellow, wrote about his life and career in Nieman Reports. She credits him with encouraging her and other women in their careers.
Sarwar noted that her uncle took courses in international affairs, developmental economics, and comparative religions during his year as a Nieman Fellow at Harvard. He also played squash and dined at the Faculty Club with classmates and Harvard professors. She recalls him telling her that Henry Kissinger, who was then teaching in the government department and headed the Harvard International Seminar, “would sit with us and ask us if we thought he was doing things correctly.”
A sports enthusiast, Hasan covered three Olympics, including Melbourne in 1956 and Rome in 1960 – both for APP— and years later, reported on the 2000 Sydney games on assignment for Dawn.
Hasan launched the travel magazine Focus on Pakistan, for the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation. He also worked for PIA’s public relations department.
In the mid-1990s, he moved to California to be close to his children. He leaves a large extended family in Pakistan, India and beyond.