Alumni Profile: John Fry '47

Editor & Journalist

John Fry’s love of skiing was born and nurtured when he was six years old and in the first grade at LCC. Ten years later he went on to race for the school’s ski team in 1947 when it won the Cochand Cup, an annual three-event competition among high schools.

Skiing became an integral part of John’s professional and personal life. In recognition of his contributions to the advancement of the sport, he was inducted into the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame in 2018.

John created NASTAR (National Standard Ski Race), a system to rate the speed and skill of recreational skiers and currently in operation at 100 American ski areas. He also invented the Nations Cup, a competition to determine which country has the strongest national alpine ski team.

In his 60-year publishing career, John served as editor-in-chief of SKI Magazine, and was founding editor of the New York Times-owned Snow Country Magazine, as well as editorial director of Outdoor Life and of Golf Magazine. He has written hundreds of articles about skiing, and is the author of the award-winning book The Story of Modern Skiing, published by University Press of New England in 2006. He is the recipient of the International Ski Federation’s Journalism Award, and long-time chairman of the International Skiing History Association.

John feels that his greatest achievement is his contribution to protecting the environment. He has served as a director and treasurer of the non-profit organization Riverkeeper, dedicated to protecting the Hudson River, which spawned Riverkeeper organizations across North America. He served on the board of the Pinchot Institute for Conservation, a think tank whose mission is to strengthen forest conservation.

“As editor of Snow Country Magazine, I worked to create two national conferences about the impact of ski resorts and poorly regulated real estate development on the fragile mountain environment,” he says. “That work was particularly meaningful to me.”

John believes the discipline required for success in his professional career as a journalist and editor were instilled during his 11 years at LCC.

“I am not quite sure how structured I would have been without that experience,” he says. “The school was also active in its teaching of ethical values and making them important in my life.”

He encourages today’s graduates to work in a career that they love. “Above all,” he says, “be receptive to unfamiliar ideas, and value candour in yourself and others.”

December 2018

Note: John Fry passed away on January 24, 2020, on Vieques Island, Puerto Rico.