- Category : Entertainment-Radio-D.J.-Announcer
- Type : MGP
- Profile : 2/5 - Hermit / Heretic
- Definition : Split - Small (17)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX The Sphinx 3
Australian broadcaster, the most successful and influential in his field, the undisputed king of Australia's talk-back airwaves. Laws has remained virtually at the top of the ratings since the mid 1950s. With his marvelously deep voice, he is known as the "Man with the Golden Microphone." A broadcaster extraordinaire whom people tend to either love or hate, Laws can come across as entertaining, smart, caustic, brash, arrogant, opinionated or fawning, although no one can predict which. Colloquially known as 'Lawsie' he is recognized as being 'in touch' with the masses more than any other public figure.
John Laws was born in Wau, New Guinea, in 1935. After a privileged education at Sydney's Mosman Preparatory School and Knox Grammar, he began his career as an 18-year old announcer on a Bendigo radio station in 1953. Laws worked at several other country radio stations prior to joining Sydney's 2UE in 1957, the first of four terms at this top-rating radio station. When his first stint at 2UE ended in 1959, Laws joined another station for a short period before moving north to the Hunter Valley where he bought a farm. For several years he broadcast a syndicated Australia-wide program for a Newcastle station. In 1962 he moved back to Sydney and after two years at another station he rejoined 2UE and remained with the station for five years. In 1969 he became a member of 2UW's line-up, an association which lasted for a decade. 2UE lured him back in 1979, this time for another five years. Then he switched to 2GB again when the station made a highly-publicized, all out bid for his services. He returned to the 2UE fold when the station was in No 8 position. Since his return in 1988, he and the station have stayed at the top of the ratings ladder.
At a black-tie dinner celebrating his 40th anniversary in Australian radio, Prime Minister Paul Keating hailed Laws with the debatable tag of "the broadcaster of the century" who has "re-written the rulebooks of Australian
broadcasting" with "that great voice...God gave you." Acknowledging Laws' powerful influence as the voice of the masses, Keating said on another occasion, "Forget the Press gallery in Canberra. If you educate John Laws, you educate Australia." Laws is certainly Australia's highest earning broadcaster of the century, with reported annual earnings of over $10 million since the late 1990s. He also has endorsement deals with Japanese-based multinational cars, electrical goods and music companies and a promotional deal with the national airline. Royalties come from John Laws-branded products, a series of videos and an Internet access kit. Laws has also been extremely prominent in various Australian media. He has hosted four national television series (including "Beauty and the Beast"), and writes a column for Australia's biggest selling newspaper, Sydney's Sunday Telegraph. His best-selling books including "The John Laws Book of Irreverent Logic," 1994, "The John Laws Book of Uncommon Sense" and "The John Laws Barbecue Cookbook," 1996, which features recipes submitted by his listeners and friends in the restaurant industry. He has also released an autobiographical video, "John Laws In One Lifetime." In 1998, he joined Australia's leading cable television company with his own nightly talk show entitled "LAWS." The Sydney program features interviews with leading national and international celebrities, politicians and newsmakers and reaches 2.5 million people. Every day he also broadcasts on a network of over 70 stations that cover every state and territory across Australia to
also reach over a tenth of the country's population.
In March 1998, Australia's 'tallest poppy' was fined $50,000 by the NSW Supreme Court for contempt of court through comments he made on air which resulted in a child abuse case being aborted. One judge commented "To fine him $50,000 is ludicrous. It is the amount he would spend on a small cocktail party." In late 1999 Laws was the epicenter of the "Cash for Comment" inquiry, after details came to light of a major banks' million dollar payments to him presumably partly in exchange for favorable on-air remarks about their services. On 12/17/1999, Laws was ordered to stand trial for soliciting information about the secret deliberations of a jury after he allegedly ordered his personal assistant to organize and later broadcast an interview with a juror known to be upset about the verdict in a murder trial.
Laws has won more radio awards of excellence than any other Australian broadcaster. They include a special award from the Federation of Australian Radio Broadcasters for his broadcasting excellence as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Producers and Directors Guild of Australia. Laws continually raises or gives charitable money to various institutions. In 1974 he was awarded the OBE by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to broadcasting and charity and in 1978 he was honored again by Her Majesty, being awarded the CBE.
His passions include motor sports, motor cycling, writing, reading, tennis, rural pursuits, photography, antique furniture, works of art and sculpture, timepieces and first collector's editions of books. Laws had two sons with
his first wife and two more sons plus a daughter with his second wife. He married his third and current wife, Caroline, on 11/27/1976. They have residences at plush Woollahra and Berowra Waters in Sydney and at
Yarramalong Valley north of the city on the NSW Central Coast.