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History of the Ol' Emperor - 2003-11-14


After a career of more than thirty years as a writer, journalist and international broadcaster Barry Maughan, aka the Ol' Sports Emperor, retired from the VOA in 1999.

Barry joined the English to Africa branch in 1976 from Wellington, New Zealand where he was employed as National Energy Correspondent for the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation.

During the next twenty two years in the branch, Barry rose through the ranks, taking on every editorial and managerial position until being named Branch Chief in 1994, a position he held until his retirement.

Early on in his VOA career he created the very first sports program in English to Africa while nurturing the growth of similar programming throughout the Africa Division as well.

The first significant part of Barry's international journalistic career began in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he wrote, reported and broadcast for the Lutheran World Federation's Radio Voice of the Gospel. In addition, he worked as a free lance correspondent and reporter for several international news organizations, including The Financial Times of London, UPI, VOA, Radio New Zealand and To The Point magazine.

Since his retirement, Barry and his wife have spent a great deal of time travelling fulltime aboard Bridget, their large fully-equipped truck camper. Such luxurious living was certainly not the case when in the 1970s Barry and his wife began their caravanning experience by driving their Volkswagon Campervan throughout Europe and then overland from Alexandria, Egypt, to Cape Town, South Africa.

Barry and his wife have two children, Kevin and Angeline. Barry's mother, known to millions of English to Africa listeners as the "chicken soup lady", lives in her native Australia and is now 92 years young!

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