The Cape Breton Highlanders
Doug How


How Doug - 82

Doug How, an author, editor and award-winning journalist whose wartime dispatches helped usher Canada's national news co-operative into a new age, has died of heart failure at home in St. Andrews, N.B. He was 82.

"Doug lived a life full of love and friendship, brimming with curiosity and discovery," his family said.

The former editor of the Canadian edition of Reader's Digest died Tuesday after losing a long battle with cancer.

Born in Winnipeg on Feb. 5, 1919, and raised in Dorchester, N.B., Douglas George How was part of a corps of Canadian Press reporters whose dispatches from the Second World War front became the stuff of legend.

A National Newspaper Award nominee, his name stood alongside those of CP war correspondents Ross Munro, Bill Boss and Bill Stewart. "The CP guys overseas were held, in effect, in much higher respect than any others," said friend George Powell, a retired Canadian Army sergeant and wartime reporter for the military news-paper The Maple Leaf. "They were a special breed.

"Certainly, Doug How was pre-eminent among them."

How worked three years for the Moncton Times newspaper before joining The Canadian Press in Halifax as a rewrite editor on June 16, 1940, for the handsome salary of $20 a week.

He enlisted in the army on Nov. 29, 1941, and was serving in Italy with the Cape Breton Highlanders when CP plucked him out on June 1, 1943, to become a war correspondent. Boss was taken from the army, too.

The pair worked together for two months covering Canadian operations around Lake Trasimeno in Italy before How was transferred to France.

"I relieved him," said Boss, who had Worked with the Ottawa Citizen and London Times before enlisting. "He was a very quiet guy with a nice sense of humour."

How worked in CP's Ottawa bureau from 1945 to '53 before leaving to work freelance in Nova Scotia.

He was executive assistant to former federal public works minister Robert Winters from 1955 to '57.

He worked for Time Magazine until 1959, then became editor of Reader's Digest (Canada) Ltd. and led a small editorial team that completed a two-volume anthology about Canadians in the Second World War.