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James Fairfax AO

1933 – 2017

James Oswald Fairfax AO (1933-2017) was the eldest son of Sir Warwick Fairfax. Educated at Geelong Grammar and Oxford, he was a director of John Fairfax and Sons Pty Ltd from 1957 to 1987 and its chairman from 1977 to 1987. From 1958 to 1987 he was also a director of Associated Newspapers Ltd. This painting alludes to his significant art collection; he was a generous supporter of the Art Gallery of NSW and the National Gallery of Australia, and is a life governor of both institutions. For nearly twenty years he also served on the board of Sydney's Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children. Following the death of Sir Warwick Fairfax in 1987, James's half-brother Warwick Geoffrey Oswald Fairfax (b.1960) attempted a takeover of the company by buying out relatives and other stockholders at inflated prices. However, following stock market crashes in October of that year, John Fairfax and Sons Pty Ltd was placed in receivership at the end of 1990.

Updated 2018