The Many Lives Of Kenneth Myer

Sue Ebury
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The Many Lives Of Kenneth Myer
The Many Lives Of Kenneth Myer

Published

1 October 2008

ISBN

9780522855463

Weight

1400g

Size

241mm x 168mm

Imprint

Miegunyah Press

The Many Lives Of Kenneth Myer

Sue Ebury
This biography is about great wealth, power and responsibility, and Kenneth Myer's search for meaning and purpose in a life defined by his father's success and his mother's ambition.
When Kenneth Baillieu Myer's father fell dead on the footpath in 1934, Ken's life changed in an instant. As the eldest son of the Jewish immigrant retailing genius, Sidney Baevski Myer, who went from pedlar to philanthropist millionaire in fifteen years, 13-year-old Ken was immediately acknowledged as head of the family

Despite a conventional education at Geelong Grammar and a year at Princeton University, Ken was an unconventional man. He had hit headlines when he was born and continued to make news throughout his life-as the powerful Executive Chairman of Myer; in his refusal to be Governor-General of Australia; with his separation and divorce from his wife Prue and remarriage to a Japanese woman half his age, Yasuko Hiraoka; as Chairman of the Victorian Arts Centre and the National Library of Australia; and during his disastrous years as Chairman of the ABC-a reward for signing the 'Myer It's time' letter,…
When Kenneth Baillieu Myer's father fell dead on the footpath in 1934, Ken's life changed in an instant. As the eldest son of the Jewish immigrant retailing genius, Sidney Baevski Myer, who went from pedlar to philanthropist millionaire in fifteen years, 13-year-old Ken was immediately acknowledged as head of the family.

Despite a conventional education at Geelong Grammar and a year at Princeton University, Ken was an unconventional man. He had hit headlines when he was born and continued to make news throughout his life-as the powerful Executive Chairman of Myer; in his refusal to be Governor-General of Australia; with his separation and divorce from his wife Prue and remarriage to a Japanese woman half his age, Yasuko Hiraoka; as Chairman of the Victorian Arts Centre and the National Library of Australia; and during his disastrous years as Chairman of the ABC-a reward for signing the 'Myer It's time' letter, acknowledged by Whitlam as influential in bringing the Labor Party to power in 1972.

Ken Myer introduced Australia to the first regional shopping centres, with Chadstone changing the face of the Australian landscape. Parking meters, state of the art information systems at the National Library of Australia, ground-breaking medical research at The Howard Florey Institute and genetic engineering at CSIRO were all facilitated by him.

Visionary and romantic, he was depressive and driven, charming one moment, icy the next. Unpretentious and a passionate conservationist, he was generous both publicly and anonymously, giving away his fortune and in doing so founding modern philanthropy in Australia. Happiest when finally free of the Store, he died with his wife Yasuko in a light plane crash in Alaska in 1992.

With unprecedented access to family documents, Sue Ebury paints a vivid portrait of the many aspects of Ken Myer's life, and the man himself.

Sue Ebury

Sue Ebury

Sue Ebury was born and educated in New Zealand. After nineteen years as an editor and publishing director at an international publishing house in Australia, she moved to Hong Kong, where she edited The War Diaries of Weary Dunlop and wrote the bestselling biography Weary: The Life of Sir Edward Dunlop. Sue returned to Australia in 1994, where she lives in Mount Macedon, Victoria. Her latest books, Weary: King of the River and The

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