Does Don Watson Have An Illness? Health Condition Explored

Don Watson is a celebrated Australian Author. He was the speech-writer and adviser of the 24th Prime Minister of Australia, Paul Keating
Don Watson is a celebrated Australian Author. He was the speech-writer and adviser of the 24th Prime Minister of Australia, Paul Keating( Source : theguardian )


Australian Don Watson is a true littérateur as he is not only an author and screenwriter but also a former political adviser and speechwriter.

Watson was born at Warragul in the Gippsland region of Victoria in 1949 and grew up on a farm in nearby Korumburra.

The author took his undergraduate degree from La Trobe University and his Ph.D. at Monash University. Watson initially worked as an academic historian for ten years. 

Watson wrote three books on Australian history while working in academia. The author soon turned his hand to writing for television and the stage. 

The writer spent many years working on both sides as he wrote political satire for the actor Max Gillies and political speeches for the then Premier of Victoria, John Cain.

He made a huge leap in his political career by becoming the speechwriter and adviser of Paul Keating, who was the then Prime Minister of Australia, in 1992.

Keating served from 1991 to 1996, and Watson wrote a book about his time with the P.M. The book, "Recollections of a Bleeding Heart: A Portrait of Paul Keating PM."

The book was published on 2002 to great acclaim and was awarded both The Age Book of the Year and several non-fiction prizes like the National Biography Award, the Courier-Mail Book of the Year, and the Australian Literary Studies Association's Book of the Year.

Here Are Some Quick Facts About Don Watson

Age:73
Net Worth:$1-5 Million
Profession:Author
Nationality:Australian
Alma Mater:Monash University
Spouse: Chloe Hooper
Children:3
Years Active: 1978 - Present

Does Don Watson Have An Illness? Health Update

In 2018, Don Watson discovered that he had leukemia when he got some tests done; this has made his fans worried about his health.

These tests came in the wake of Michael Gordon's death. Michael Gordon was a loved and respected journalist and one of Watson's closest friends, who died at 62.

Don Watson was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2018 after he went for a check up after his friend Michael Gordon passed away.
Don Watson was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2018 after he went for a check up after his friend Michael Gordon passed away.( Source : afr )

Watson felt Gordon's death deeply and worried that if someone so vital and fit could pass away from a sudden tragedy, he would be no better. To that end, he went to the doctor and discovered that he had leukemia.

The realization was shocking for Watson because though he was considerably up in age, he had a wife 23 years his junior with whom he has two young children, as well as an adult child from his previous marriage.

Equally as importantly, Watson felt like he had so much yet to write, and that realization, coupled with the thought of leaving a young family, made the prognosis hard to swallow.

Still, Watson is going strong with his writing and does not seem any worse for wear years after his diagnosis. He seems to have gotten fitter and has taken better care of himself. 

Is Don Watson Married? Who Is His First Wife?

Don Watson has been married twice; his first wife was Hilary McPhee, and his current wife is Chloe Hooper.

Hilary McPhee is a celebrated writer and editor with an Order of Australia award for her service to the Arts. An award she won in 2003. 

Don Watson has won numerous awards in his time and had been married twice. He has three children.
Don Watson has won numerous awards in his time and had been married twice. He has three children.( Source : com )

McPhee was born in 1941, and she is eight years Don Watson's senior. She was a founding director of McPhee Gribble Publishers with Diana Gribble. 

She is also the Chair of the Australia Council for the Arts and of the Major Organizations Board. Another addition to McPhee's illustrious career was the position of founding director and editor of the online political newsletter NewMatilda.com.

McPhee received an honorary doctorate from Watson's alma mater Monash University and was also the inaugural Chancellor's fellow at the University of Melbourne. She still remains a senior Fellow of the University.

Before Watson, she married Peter Freeman in 1964 and had a daughter, Sara Harriet Freeman, and son Rupert with him. She then married publisher John Michie in 1976 with whom she has a son named James.

McPhee married Don Watson in 1986, and that marriage ended in 2009. 

After McPhee, Watson married writer Chloe Hooper.

How Much Is Don Watson's Net Worth? 

Celebrated Australian author Don Watson has a net worth of between $1-5 million as of 2022.

Watson is one of the most celebrated authors in modern Australian literature and historical writing and a leading authority in Australian history. 

As mentioned above, he won many awards and recognitions for his writing about the 24th Prime Minister of Australia, Paul Keating, but that's not the only one of his books that have received recognition.

His work in exposing the role of pioneer pastoralist Angus McMillan as a leader of several vicious massacres of the Gunai Kurnai people in Gippsland, Victoria, is historical, and his work is the main source quoted in most articles about the man and the massacres.

He was awarded the Book of the Year twice, in 2008 and 2014, for his books "American Journeys" and "The Bush: Travels in the Heart of Australia," respectively. He has won the Age Book of the Year for "American Journeys" and the book mentioned above about Paul Keating.

Watson has faced minor controversy in his career with the Redfern Park Speech, which Keating delivered that the author claims he authored, but Keating states were developed out of conversations.

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