John de St. Jorre

· Author · Journalist · Screenwriter ·

John de St. Jorre, Freelance writerJohn de St. Jorre was born in London and educated in Britain and Singapore.

His father came to Britain from the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean where the family had settled after leaving France in the 18th century. His mother was English, the daughter of a London policeman.

After military service in Malaysia and reading history at Oxford University, de St. Jorre embarked on a varied career that began with five years in the British Foreign Service, most of it in embassies in Africa.

He later studied Arabic in the Lebanon and then resigned to become a journalist.

Returning to Africa, he became the London OBSERVER's correspondent there and went on to assignments in Paris, the Middle East and New York.

Among other wars and revolutions, he covered the Nigerian-Biafran civil war, the 1973 Arab-Israeli conflict and the Islamic revolution in Iran.

Turning freelance in New York, he divided his time between journalism, book writing, lecturing, and writing and editing for a number of organizations in the United States, including the Carnegie Endowment, the Rockefeller Foundation, Catholic Relief Services, the Ford Foundation and the United Nations.

He ran the Africa section of the short-lived international information agency, IRIS, in Washington, D.C., and was the senior writer of SOUTH AFRICA: TIME RUNNING OUT, the acclaimed two-year study on US policy toward that country.

He later edited the South Africa Update series consisting of five books on the critical years that led to the end of apartheid.

More recently, he has written two screenplays, VENUS BOUND (with Granz Henman), commissioned by ENA Films, Cologne, Germany, and THE SHIELD OF DAVID (with Louis Atlas). He lives with his wife and family in Newport, Rhode Island.


While researching THE GOOD SHIP VENUS (VENUS BOUND in the USA), his highly praised book on the Olympia Press and its writers, de St. Jorre unraveled a forty-year-old literary mystery by discovering the true author of this French erotic classic. He interviewed Dominique Aury many times and the chapter in the book was published as a profile in THE NEW YORKER. Its appearance, in July 1994, attracted world media attention and led to the purchase of the film rights by Dan Wigutow Productions in New York, where it is currently under development.

Winner of the 2009 Herbert Warren Wind Award

John de St. Jorre’s The Story of Golf at The Country Club was chosen in 2009 by the United States Golf Association (USGA) as the winner of its annual literary prize, named after the famous American golf writer and historian. Regarded by golfers as the “Pulitzer” of the game, the USGA gives the award to books deemed to make an outstanding contribution to golf literature. In announcing the award, the organization described The Story of Golf at The Country Club as “beautifully written and elegantly designed” and recognized its “high standard of achievement in golf literature.”