John Allen Honderich was born in Toronto and attended Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute, acquired his Senior Matriculation from Neuchatel Junior College in Switzerland, then attended the University of Toronto (1964-68), where he earned an Honours degree in political science and economics. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Toronto’s Law School. In 1973, he was called to the Bar.
Mr. Honderich began his newspaper career with the Ottawa Citizen (1973-76). He joined the Toronto Star in 1976 as a reporter and eventually became chief of the Star’s Ottawa bureau, and later chief of the Washington bureau. After a stint as deputy city editor, he was appointed Business Editor of the Star in May 1984. He held that position until he took a leave of absence (1986) in London, where he took several post-graduate studies in economics and international trade at the London School of Economics. At the same time, he wrote Arctic Imperative, published in the fall of 1987 by the University of Toronto Press, in which he outlined the serious dangers threatening Canada’s North.
In 1994, Mr. Honderich was appointed Publisher of the Star, a position he held for almost 10 years. Before that, he served as Editor for 6 years and Editorial Page Editor for 18 months, which posting he took up after his leave of absence from the paper. Until his retirement in 2004, Mr. Honderich was Chairman of the Canadian Press, Canadian Director for the World Association of Newspapers, and a director on the boards of the Canadian Newspaper Association, the Audit Bureau of Circulations and workopolis.com.
Most recently, Mr. Honderich has been Special Ambassador to the Mayor of Toronto and then Special Adviser to the Premier of Ontario. He is Chair of the Torstar Voting Trust and currently serves on the boards of the Atkinson Fellowship, the Michener Fellowship, the Martin Goodman Fellowship, the Mowat Centre, the Toronto Public Library, and Seneca College. In May 2009, he was appointed Chair of the Board of Torstar Corporation.
He has received honorary degrees from Victoria University, Ryerson University, and King’s University. Mr. Honderich was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2004, a Member of the Order of Ontario in 2006, and a member of the Canadian News Hall of Fame in 2014.
John Honderich has two children, Robin and Emily.