Former Penthouse Editor Phil Abraham Killed In Surfing Accident

Former Penthouse Editor Phil Abraham Killed In Surfing Accident

Australian media identity and former magazine editor Phil Abraham has been killed in a surfing accident on the NSW South Coast late last week. Abrahams was a former editor of Tracks and Penthouse Magazine.

The details of the accident are sketchy and B&T only learned of the tragedy late on Friday afternoon when former colleagues contacted the office.

John Birmingham posted the following tribute on his blog Cheeseburger Gothic on Friday afternoon:

Phil Abraham was my editor at Penthouse when I freelanced there in the early 1990s. He was the first editor of a glossy, grown up magazine to commission a story from me, although not the first story I sent him. With Greg Hunter, the features editor at Penthouse, and later the editor at Inside Sport, Phil was largely responsible for turning me into a working magazine writer. I heard today that he has died in a surfing mishap.

Greg proceeded him into the great silence a few years ago. Both gone before their time. The circumstances of Greg Hunter’s passing were especially sad, but I don’t feel free to discuss them here. They reflect very poorly on certain prominent figures.

From Greg I learned a lot about writing. He was in the habit of handing new freelancers a photocopy of Tom Wolfe’s introductory essay from The New Journalism. All eighty pages of it. “Read this and do it,” he’d say.

From Phil I learned about reporting, about chasing a story and not letting go. I also learned from him that the story you most want to write is the story of which you should be most skeptical. He was a brave and conscientious editor who frequently took risks on young, untried writers. There are a whole stable of us who owe our start in the business to him.

And now he is gone.

I shall pour one out for him tonight. With a chaser for Greg.

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