Robert Ellsworth (Bob) Barry was born in Peterborough Ontario on April 2, 1942. He was a second generation Canadian with a rich Irish/English ancestry.
Bob was a cheerful boy who loved to laugh, traits that developed as he got older. He was good company and fun to be with. Early on it was evident that he was gifted intellectually, demonstrated by his unending curiosity about how things worked or why they didn’t. He became a voracious reader, devouring the classics and anything else that was well written. In turn, he was able to express himself well and by early high school knew that a career in journalism was his goal – ideally one that included a lot of travel and reporting on internationally relevant issues.
Bob graduated from Carleton University in 1964 and his first job was with two of his Carleton classmates at a newspaper in Saskatchewan. Following that job, which was a good starting experience, Bob acted on his desire to go international. He started with Reuters in New York and later on in London England. Fluency in French helped him land his next job with Agence France Presse (AFP), headquartered in Paris. Founded in 1835, AFP is the world’s oldest news agency and the third largest in the modern world after Associated Press and Reuters.
Bob loved his years with AFP. When not working on assignments, he travelled on his own time. His weekly letters home over those years described his travels and explorations of every country on the European continent as well as much of Northern Africa.
His lifestyle in Europe was what he wanted, but the pace was stressful and began to take a toll. He eventually had health issues that forced his return to Canada. He settled in Toronto and took on writing assignments and other short-term projects while dealing with his health. In 1986, he was the victim of a random armed street robbery and died three days later of his wounds at the age of 44.
Bob is survived by his older sister and two nieces. They have established this endowment fund to encourage others who share his conviction that we need and will all benefit by intelligent, honest reporting that leads to a better understanding of what is happening in our world.
Terms: Awarded annually by the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs, on the recommendation of the Director or Associate Director of the School of Journalism and Communication, to an outstanding graduate student pursuing a Master of Journalism degree who is undertaking a Master’s Research Project (MRP). This award is intended to fund travel and research expenses related to the recipient’s MRP. Endowed in 2019 by Marilyn Dimeo in loving memory of her brother, Robert Ellsworth Barry BJ/64.