Writing was not his only passion
Alan Stuart Paton was born in Pietermaritzburg in 1903. He obtained a BSc degree and a Higher Diploma in Education from the University of Natal.
His first novel, Cry, the Beloved Country, was followed by poetry, two more novels, short stories, two biographies and a twovolume autobiography. Paton was a founder member of the Liberal Party of SA in 1953, was its national chairman from 1956 to 1958, and its national president from 1958 to 1968. The party closed in 1968 as a direct result of the Prevention of Police Interference Act, which made it a criminal offence for a person to belong to any nonracial political organisation.
Paton is also famous as a humanitarian, a reformer of the juvenile justice system (from his time as principal of the Diepkloof Reformatory) and a fierce opponent of apartheid.
He died in 1988.