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In January 2018 Australia Post put Ray Martin on the Dollar Stamp - as ‘a TV Legend’.
A few months earlier, Sydney University awarded him an Honorary Doctorate for his exemplary news reporting over the past fifty years.
In 2011, Ray was awarded an AM – an Order of Australian – for both his career in journalism along with his outstanding efforts for a range of charities, especially his tireless work with Indigenous Australians and Fred Hollows over many years.
These latest, well-deserved accolades come on top of his unmatched collection of five Gold Logies, countless Silver Logies and People’s Choice Awards, rewards for a lifetime in prime-time television.
Ray Martin has had an extraordinary life – and won’t stop having fun.
“ I can’t believe they keep paying me good money, ” the 73 year old says with a smile, “to go to amazing places and meet astonishing people. I’d probably do it for nothing. Probably.”
With plans initially to be a university lecturer in Modern History, Ray accepted a cadetship in journalism at the ABC in 1965.
Not long after he was sent to New York as North American Correspondent, where he spent the next ten years covering the turbulent 1970’s for every ABC programme – from Four Corners & News, to sport and even science, when man first went into space and walked on the moon.
In 1978 Ray switched to the Nine Network to launch “Sixty Minutes”, which would become the most successful current affairs show ever seen on commercial television.
As probably Australia’s leading television journalist over the past half century Ray has interviewed more than ten thousand people including every Australian Prime Minister since Sir Robert Menzies, most American Presidents since Lyndon Johnson, along with a cavalcade of the world’s most famous from Robin Williams and John Lennon to Prince Charles and Kerry Packer.
Everyone has a story to tell. Every story is worth retelling.
Ray lists his all-time favourites – his so-called “ Holy Trinity” as Sir Donald Bradman, Professor Fred Hollows and Sir David Attenborough, whom he’s now interviewed thirty times before live audiences across Australia & New Zealand.
The face of Australian television for so many years Ray Martin hosted Sixty Minutes, The Midday Show, A Current Affair and the Sunday programme along with countless Federal elections, twenty Carols By Candlelight and over forty top-rating Nine Network specials.
Since leaving Channel Nine in 2008, Ray has written three best-selling books – including, a collection of his own photographs taken over the past forty years.
It’s perhaps a tribute to his universal appeal that in recent times he has reported for every Australian TV network, including three hour-long documentaries for regional Australia through the Prime 7 Network, and a number of award-winning series for the SBS Network, such as “Is Australia Racist’, “ Look Me In The Eye” and “First Contact”, for which he won yet another Logie.
If it’s a major event, political or otherwise - or a superstar that glowed brightly anytime in the past fifty years, then Ray Martin was probably there and has a yarn or two to tell you.
You will enjoy his company.