Award Winners
King Albert

Biography Miss Elizabeth Hawley

Elizabeth Hawley was born in Chicago, Illinois, on 9 November, 1923, and educated in public schools and at the University of Michigan, from which she received a B.A. with honours in history and a M.A. in history, and where she was employed as an assistant in the department of history. She has never married.

Her journalistic career started in 1946 when she began working for Fortune magazine in New York as an editorial researcher, a job that combined reporting and research work and took her on many travels around the U.S. as well as to Canada and Brazil.

She resigned from Fortune in 1957 in order to be able to travel more widely and leisurely and to decide on a different sort of career. During the next two years, she travelled extensively by train and bus throughout Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union (1957), the Middle East (Turkey, Israel, a number of Arab countries and Iran in 1958), and South Asia including Nepal, and then by boat via Southeast Asia and Japan back to the U.S. (1959). She took some temporary jobs in New York while arranging to live overseas, and in September 1960 she left the U.S. again, took up residence in Kathmandu, Nepal, where she has lived ever since.

She was accredited as Time-Life's part-time correspondent in Nepal from the very start, and she became "stringer" for Reuters News Agency in 1962. While working for Reuters, she soon realized that an important part of her reporting assignment was mountaineering activities, and she started meeting every expedition that came to climb in Nepal – and when Tibet was opened to climbers, she met as well all those who came to climb on the northern side of Nepal's border peaks. She herself has never climbed a mountain in her life, but she has developed a keen interest in the climbing scene and got to know the many skilled and famous mountaineers who have come to the Nepalese Himalaya. Thirty-five years later, she is still meeting and interviewing all the teams. She now specializes only in mountaineering news for Reuters and regularly sends reports to alpine journals and mountaineering magazines in nine countries. In 1994 the American Alpine Club, of which she is a member, presented her with its literary award for this work.

Besides this reporting, she has other responsibilities in Nepal: she is executive officer of Sir Edmund Hillary's small aid organization, the Himalayan Trust, which supports health, educational, cultural and re-forestation activities in the Mount Everest region. Although an American citizen, she is honorary consul for New Zealand, and she is a consultant to the Tiger Mountain group of adventure travel companies in Nepal.