Peter Dunsmore Howard
20 December 1908
|Died||25 February 1965 (aged 56)|
|Alma mater||University of Oxford|
Peter Dunsmore Howard (20 December 1908 – 25 February 1965) was a British journalist, playwright, captain of the England national rugby union team who was the head of the Moral Re-Armament movement from 1961 to 1965. He also won a World Championship bobsleigh medal in 1939.
Born in Maidenhead, England, Howard was educated at Mill Hill School. A graduate of the University of Oxford and journalist, Howard captained the England national rugby union team while working with Oswald Mosley during his New Party period. He represented Oxford University RFC in The Varsity Match in 1929 and 1930 and made his England debut against Wales in January 1930 while still at Oxford. He played eight times for England, playing in all four matches in the Five Nations Championship in both 1930 and 1931. He captained England against Ireland at Twickenham in 1931, Ireland winning 6-5. In 1939 he won the silver medal in the four-man event at the FIBT World Championships in St. Moritz.
After a flirtation with Mosley's Blackshirts, he joined the Conservative Party and became a political correspondent and investigative reporter for the Daily Express. In 1940, with Michael Foot and Frank Owen, also Beaverbrook journalists, he wrote the political polemic, Guilty Men, which is concerned with the UK’s appeasement policy and the politicians responsible for it.
Meanwhile, Howard had been assigned by Lord Beaverbrook to investigate the 1930s English evangelical movement of American religious leader Frank Buchman. Howard interviewed Buchman, eventually leaving the Daily Express and joining the inner circle of Moral Re-Armament (MRA). In 1941, he published a book entitled Innocent men, in which he took a different view of the politicians he had lambasted in Guilty Men a year earlier, still sharply questioning the relationship between press and government in wartime Britain, but also expressing his views about the role Moral Re-Armament could play. MRA made the fight against Communism a high priority during and after World War II, considering it a threat to peace and religious freedom. Howard wrote seventeen plays, mostly perceived as both extremely didactic and anti-communist, on the themes of cooperation and dialogue in industrial relations, politics, and personal life.
After Buchman died in 1961, Howard was his chosen successor as leader of the worldwide MRA movement. In this work Howard himself travelled extensively. He died of viral pneumonia in Lima, Peru, in February 1965.
Howard married 1932 Wimbledon ladies doubles champion Doris Metaxa and they had three children: Anne, Anthony, and The Times journalist Philip Howard (died 5 October 2014, aged 80). Doë (Doris) Metaxa Howard was born in Greece on 12 June 1911, but she was raised in Marseilles and represented France at Wimbledon; she died on 7 September 2007, aged 96.