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William Peter Coleman (15 December 1928 – 31 March 2019) was an Australian writer and politician. A widely published journalist for over 60 years, he was editor of The Bulletin (1964–1967) and of Quadrant for 20 years, and published 16 books on political, biographical and cultural subjects. While still working as an editor and journalist he had a short but distinguished political career as a Member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly from 1968–1978 for the Liberal Party, serving both as a Minister in the State Cabinet and in the final year as Leader of the New South Wales Opposition. From 1981–1987 he was the member for Wentworth in the Australian House of Representatives.
Início de Vida
Coleman was born in Melbourne, the son of Stanley Charles Coleman, an advertising agent, and Norma Victoria Tiernan. Moving to Sydney, he was educated at North Sydney Boys High School and at the University of Sydney under philosophers John Anderson and John Passmore. Fellow students included the philosophers David Armstrong and David Stove. Coleman then travelled to the United Kingdom to study political philosophy at the London School of Economics under Michael Oakeshott, completing a thesis on the French philosopher Georges Sorel. He graduated as Master of Science (Economics) in 1952. On 5 April 1952 he married the writer and librarian, Verna Scott. Together they had two daughters, Tanya, who became a lawyer and later wife of Deputy Liberal Leader Peter Costello, Ursula, a children's writer, and a son William, who is an economist.After teaching English for a year in the Sudan, Coleman returned to Australia to undertake a career as a journalist. In 1958 he became associate editor of The Observer, a fortnightly magazine founded in 1958 and published by Australian Consolidated Press. Other staff members included the editor Donald Horne and financial editor Michael Baume. In 1961 it was absorbed by the legendary but ailing political and literary magazine The Bulletin and Coleman subsequently became editor of The Bulletin between 1964 and 1967. In these years he published his first books Australian Civilization, a symposium which brought together writers and critics ranging from Manning Clark and Max Harris to James McAuley and Vincent Buckley; Obscenity Blasphemy Sedition, a study of the first 100 years of censorship in Australia; the anthology The Bulletin Book; and Cartoons of Australian History, with cartoonist Les Tanner. When Coleman resigned from The Bulletin in 1967 he became editor of Quadrant magazine, a position he held for twenty years.
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