Intended for healthcare professionals


Gordon Macpherson: editor who bridged the gap between The BMJ and the BMA

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: (Published 28 August 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l5269
  1. Linda Beecham
  1. London
  1. lbeecham{at}

Gordon Macpherson was born in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands, where his father was working as an accountant. When Gordon was 10 his father died, but not before writing many letters to find someone to support his son at Christ’s Hospital (the famous “Blue Coat” public school in West Sussex). He was the only child of a single mother, and Christ’s Hospital had a profound influence on his life. He made lifelong friends there, and in the 1980s and ’90s he became a donation governor linked to its medical foundation, supporting three pupils.

After Christ’s he spent several terms studying science at McGill University in Montreal before starting at St Thomas’, where he met his future wife, Elizabeth, a Nightingale nurse. He did his national service at RAF Halton, working in the specialist burns unit. Having decided on a career in …

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