Papers of Richard Fry

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Notes, articles, cuttings and related papers of Richard Fry.

Papers relating to his work as the Guardian's financial editor, 1939-1965 concern Fry's first visit to USA in 1947 and the Manchester Guardian Survey of Industry, Trade and Finance, 1946-c1958 instigated by Fry in 1946.

Papers relating to his freelance work include articles for the Guardian, The Times, National Provident Bank Review and The Banker; speeches and lectures by Fry; and independent visits to USA in 1977 and 1979.

Administrative / Biographical History

Richard Fry (née Freund) was born in Berlin on 23 September 1900. He studied at Heidelberg and Berlin Universities where his economic professor, Walter Sowbart, encouraged him to take up journalism. Fry worked as a foreign political correspondent in Rome for a German publishing group, 1924-1925 before moving to London the following year, where he married Katherine Maritz two weeks before the Great Crash of 1929. On the day that Hitler came to power in 1933 Fry was dismissed by his German employers.

Fry was unemployed for much of the 1930s but in this time he wrote two highly prophetic books 'Zero Hour' and 'Watch Czechoslovakia' and formally took British nationality. 'Zero Hour' in particular was widely acclaimed and is thought to be a significant reason for Fry's inclusion on the 1940 Nazi blacklist.

Fry became financial editor of the Guardian in 1939, a temporary appointment intended to cover staff war service that was made permanent at the end of the second world war, and he stayed with the Guardian until his retirement in 1965. With the Guardian Fry visited the United States of America for the first time in 1947 and introduced the Manchester Guardian Annual Industrial Survey from 1946.

Fry was awarded the CBE in 1965 for services to journalism. He spent the first ten years of his retirement writing for The Banker and visiting world financial centres on a regular basis. He continued to write and give lectures up to his 90th year. Richard Fry died in 2002.

Conditions Governing Access

Open. Records may be viewed in our reading room by appointment only, see our website for more information.

Acquisition Information

Donated to the Guardian News Media Archives in 2000.

Other Finding Aids

A full catalogue description for this collection can be found on the GNM Archive catalogue.