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Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006
John Ibbitson

Journalist and author John Ibbitson, 46, was raised in the small town of Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada. As a teenager, he dreamed of a career as a playwright, and after graduating from the University of Toronto with a B.A. in English in 1979, he pursued that vocation, most successfully with the play Mayonnaise, which premiered at the Phoenix Theatre in Toronto in December 1980. Mayonnaise was produced in theatres across Canada and adapted for television by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in 1983.

In the mid-1980s Ibbitson shifted his writing focus to young-adult fiction, writing first a series of novellas for Collier Macmillan's Series Canada and Series 2000, and then two full length novels, 1812: Jeremy and the General (Maxwell Macmillan, 1991) and The Night Hazel Came to Town (Maxwell Macmillan, 1993). 1812 was nominated for a Governor General's award and Hazel for the Trillium Award and City of Toronto Book Award. In 2001, Kidscan Press republished 1812 as 1812: Jeremy's War.

In 1987, Ibbitson entered the University of Western Ontario graduate program in Journalism, graduating with an M.A. (Journalism) in 1988. Since then, he has worked as reporter and columnist for the Ottawa Citizen, Southam News, the National Post and the Globe and Mail. For six years, from 1995 to 2001, he covered Ontario politics, writing two books to complement his daily journalism: Promised Land: Inside the Mike Harris Revolution (Prentice-Hall, 1997) and Loyal No More: Ontario's Struggle for Separate Destiny (HarperCollins 2001).

In August 2001 he was appointed Washington Bureau Chief of the Globe and Mail, covering Congress and the presidency as a reporter and columnist.

Ibbitson's interests including reading (mostly history and biography), music (mostly classical) running, fishing and playing poker with reporters.

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Why did the magician's inquiry get nowhere? Too much smoke and mirrors. Jerry Kitich, Hamilton, Ont.