Skip to Content

Archived News

Ken Newman Obituary

24 October 2006

TheSouth African Birding communitywere saddened to hear of the death of Ken Newman and extend their sympathy to his family.

Ken played a pivotal role in the popularisation of bird watching in South Africa through the publication of numerous books, which have sold nearly a million copies. His ability to capture the “jizz” of birds in his illustrations have made his field guides an essential companion for so many birders. His abilities extended to painting and lecturing and his commitment to ornithology and conservation was reflected through his presidency of both the South African Ornithological Society and BirdLife South Africa. He was still President of BirdLife Sandton at the time of his death. Ken was the first non-scientist recipient of the prestigious Gill Memorial Medal. In May this year, Ken’s life-long contributions to birding and conservation were recognised by his being awarded a BirdLife South Africa Owl Award.

For those fortunate enough to have known Ken, he will be remembered for his unfailing gentlemanly manner. Time in the field with him was a privilege – one happily shared by many people.

His contribution to birding will live on, especially through his field guide, and one can expect to hear, “Don’t forget your Newman’s”