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Stephen Francis Patrick Aloysius Dunleavy (born 1938), is a US-based Australian-born journalist best known as a columnist for the New York Post. He was a lead reporter on the US tabloid television program A Current Affair in the 1980s and 1990s.

Early life

Dunleavy was born on 21 January, 1938, in Sydney, Australiamarker.


Dunleavy began his career in Australia in 1953 as a copy boy for the (Sydney) Daily Mirror, an evening newspaper then owned by Ezra Norton.

Arriving in New York on New Year's Eve, 1966 with 10 dollars in his pocket, he worked as a correspondent for London newspapers. He joined the New York Post as a news reporter after Rupert Murdoch purchased the newspaper in 1977.

Like Gordon Eliot, another Australian television personality, he helped create the US tabloid television market in the 1980s; both were reporters for A Current Affair.


Dunleavy's irreverent shock-jock style was the model for actor Robert Downey Jr who spent time with the TV man preparing for the role of Wayne Gale in Oliver Stone's film Natural Born Killers.


After a 55-year career, his retirement celebration on 1 October 2008 was attended by 400 colleagues and friends. Those who honored Dunleavy included News Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch, Post Editor-in-Chief Col Allan, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Uniformed Firefighters Association President Steve Cassidy and former A Current Affair host Maury Povich, accompanied by his wife, Connie Chung. "Your dedication to your work, your inspiration to others and loyalty to the paper defies description," Murdoch said as Dunleavy and wife Gloria looked on. "It's exceptional. I've never seen anything like it my whole life."

DuMond controversy

Dunleavy controversially wrote a series of articles in defence of Wayne DuMond, a Vietnam veteran who was convicted of rape in Arkansasmarker in 1984, questioning the justice of DuMond's sentence and conviction. DuMond's sentence was eventually reduced to the point where he was paroled, but within a year of his release went on to rape and murder two women in Missouri. This Willie Horton-like incident resurfaced as a political issue during the 2008 presidential election since it was Republican candidate Mike Huckabee who secured DuMond's parole whilst governor of Arkansasmarker.


In 1977 Dunleavy, in association with 3 of Elvis Presley's former bodyguards, published a tabloid-style mass-market paperback Elvis - What happened? (ISBN 978-0345272157) which investigated the life of Elvis Presley behind the scenes. It was published on August 1, just two weeks before Presley's death on August 16. This was the first book that focused on Elvis' addiction to prescription drugs. Some associates of Elvis and also Elvisfans have suggested that by reading the book, Elvis may have been even more depressed which resulted in his death. When Elvis died in August 1977 the book sold more then 1 million copies.


  1. Clemente Lisi A night of pomp-adore: Sendoff for Post's Dunleavy New York Post, 3 October 2008

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