Journalist, consultant, author and inveterate traveler — that sums up the busy life of Ray Argyle. He shows no signs of slowing down. Ray has worked as a journalist, publishing executive, and communications consultant. He’s the author of five biographies, two political histories, a memoir, and a novel of Victorian Canada.
Ray was born in Manitoba and educated in British Columbia. He pursued a career in journalism, working for newspapers, a wire service, and a radio station. He founded Argyle Communications Inc., a communications consulting firm, now merged with the Environics Group. Ray has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ont., and the Scarborough (Toronto) Board of Education. He is the only Canadian to have been elected a Fellow of the International Public Relations Association. He received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his “contributions to Canadian life.”
Ray grew up in the interior British Columbia community of Creston, the town that Edward Mallandaine, the subject of Ray’s book “The Boy in the Picture,” helped found after having been present for the driving of the Last Spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Ray’s early memories are of fishing in the rivers, swimming in the lakes, and climbing the mountains that rose up behind his home.
These activities always left him time for reading, and Ray decided early on to be a writer. He got his first newspaper job fresh out of school. At the age of 21 he was editor of a chain of 35 weekly newspapers. He was a correspondent and bureau manager for the global news agency United Press International. This included a stint covering the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria. He worked for the old Toronto Telegram, as editor of the Telegram News Service.
Ray’s publishing history:
- Turning Points: the Campaigns that Changed Canada, White Knight, Toronto, 2004 (E-edition 2011.)
- Scott Joplin and the Age of Ragtime, McFarland Publishing, Jefferson, NC., 2009.
- The Boy in the Picture: the Driving of the Last Spike, Dundurn Press, Toronto, 2010.
- Joey Smallwood: Schemer & Dreamer. Dundurn Press, Toronto, 2012.
- Kennedy After Dallas (ebook). Waterside Books, Kingston, 2013.
- Lives of My Fathers (ebook). Waterside Books, Kingston, 2014.
- The Paris Game; Charles de Gaulle, the Liberation of Paris, and the Gamble that Won France. Dundurn Press, 2014.
- An Act of Injustice – a novel of Victorian Canada (April, 2017)
- Van Gogh’s Ghost (Work in Progress).
- Inventing Secularism: The Radical Life of George Jacob Holyoake (Spring 2021, McFarland Books.)
Ray has contributed to a variety of publications, including The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Canada’s History (formerly The Beaver),Reader’s Digest, France Today, and World War II History. He has three daughters and four grandchildren. He and his partner Deborah Windsor live in Kingston, Ont.
“Once writing has become the main vice and the greatest pleasure, only death can end it.” — Ernest Hemingway