Paul O’Neill

Writer, actor, community activist and CBC producer, Paul O’Neill was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland in 1928. Educated at St. Bonaventure’s College in St. John’s and the National Academy of Theater Arts in New York, O’Neill was an aspiring actor in the United States and England from 1949-1952, where he worked with well-known names such as Cloris Leachman and Eddie Albert. He began his career in radio in 1953 with the CBC in Newfoundland where he produced many radio shows and TV shows such as Reach for the Top, Skipper and Company and Music Craft, before retiring in 1986.
O’Neill has written several books on Newfoundland history including, Breakers (1982), Legends of the Lost Tribe (1976) and The Oldest City (1975). In addition to his contributions on Newfoundland history O’Neill wrote a Spindrift and Morning Light- 1968, A Sound of Seagulls (1984), Upon This Rock, the story of the Roman Catholic Church in Newfoundland and Labrador (1984).
He has served as the founding president of the Newfoundland Writers’ Guild, chairman of the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council and president of the St. John’s Folk Arts Council. In 1988, O’Neill was awarded an honorary LL.D by Memorial University of Newfoundland and in 1990, he was appointed to the Order of Canada. In 2004, he was awarded the Freedom of the City and in 2008, received Order of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Paul O’Neill wrote his memoirs during the last years of his life. He passed away on August 13, 2013.