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S. H. Prior S. H. Prior i(A31563 works by) (a.k.a. Samuel Henry Prior)
Also writes as: S. H. P.
Born: Established: 10 Jan 1869 Brighton, Holdfast Bay area, Adelaide - South West, Adelaide, South Australia, ; Died: Ceased: 6 Jun 1933 Mosman, Cremorne - Mosman - Northbridge area, Sydney Northeastern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,
Gender: Male
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S. H. Prior was educated at Glenelg Grammar School and the Bendigo School of Mines and Industries. After a short period of teaching, he joined the Bendigo Independent as a mining reporter. Prior edited the Broken Hill Times and its successor, the Broken Hill Argus briefly before becoming editor of the Barrier Miner (1888-1903).

In 1903 Prior became financial editor of the Sydney Bulletin at the invitation of J. F. Archibald. He also wrote theatre reviews for the journal. In 1912, Prior was made associate editor and, in 1915, senior editor by which time he was a major shareholder. In 1927 Prior gained ownership of the Bulletin and became both manager and editor. The Prior family retained financial control of the journal until 1960.

Prior's Bulletin reflected changes in the country at large as suburbia replaced the bush as its central motif. The Bulletin maintained a liberal free enterprise stance and Prior asserted the paper had no political bias although some would argue it had become more politically conservative under this leadership. It remained staunchly in favour of the White Australia policy. The launch of Wild Cat Monthly in 1923 enhanced the Bulletin's reputation for financial journalism. Prior's second son, Henry Kenneth Prior, succeeded him as Bulletin general manager and initiated the S. H. Prior memorial prize for a work of Australian literature in 1935.

Prior was 'deeply committed to literature, and could turn his hand with distinction to criticism, short stories and even verse. Over the years he corresponded with and encouraged many writers' (Kirkpatrick (1988): 299). In 1928, Prior inaugurated the first Bulletin novel competition and in 1932, at Norman Lindsay's (q.v.) suggestion, established Endeavour Press to publish Australian writers.

Historian Peter Kirkpatrick views Prior as a liberal nationalist and 'a champion of trade unionism and of Federation' ((1988): 299).

Source: Adapted from Peter Kirkpatrick, 'Prior, Samuel Henry (1869 - 1933)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 11, MUP, 1988, pp 299-300 and 'The Decline of the Bush: Samuel Henry Prior, 1915-1933', The Bulletin Centenary Issue, (29 January 1980): 287.

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Last amended 5 Aug 2013 13:51:47
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