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World’s Oldest Journalist Celebrates Centenary - Part 2

By The Jerusalem Report

Courtesy Walter Bingham

Following on from Part 1 of Walter's story, he continues to write in The Jerusalem Report:


The date of my discharge from the army was December 31, 1947; I declined the opportunity to stay on.

“Here are your civilian clothes and the railway ticket to your chosen destination”

were the last words I heard before I was totally alone as I stepped out into the street. It was hard to adjust to civilian life. After all, for four years the army cared for my every need. Unlike today, there was no aftercare. Post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD, was not recognized in military veterans. I just had to persevere.


Bingham was honored with a visit to his Jerusalem home by President Isaac Herzog for his 99th birthday. Photo by the President's Office

Much later, and on my own initiative, still while trying to make a living, I enrolled in the Open University and graduated with an upper 2nd degree in politics and philosophy. I followed that with a post-graduate study of political philosophy at London University’s Birkbeck College. Once again, God guided me in the right direction.


I married my wonderful wife, my rock for 40 years until her untimely death in 1990. But her spirit lives on in our daughter, Sonja, who also lives in Jerusalem and takes good care of me.



Bingham with his daughter, Sonja Kent, during an International March of the Living trip in Germany in October. Courtesy Walter Bingham

Without her help, I could not function as well. Having made aliyah at age 80, it is difficult to master the modern Hebrew language. However, I settled in Jerusalem, where English suffices and my knowledge of Yiddish is a good standby. My studies in London enabled me to enter a career there in print and radio journalism, which became my passion.


Today, at age 100, I am proud to be the oldest working journalist and active radio show host in the world, for which I hold both Guinness world records and still broadcast on two Israeli radio stations.


For some years as a sideline in England, I took up acting, worked as an advertising model, and dressed as Santa Claus in London’s largest department stores, Harrods and Selfridges. I appeared in numerous TV shows and movies, including a wizard in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.


As I always do things from which many others of a similar age shy away, my hobby, until my eyesight deteriorated, was piloting airplanes. In 1971, I flew a fully instrumented plane, solo, from London to Israel and back! I have since had to change to the relatively benign sport of skydiving.


I jumped out of a plane on my 95th birthday, and God willing, will do my next sky dive sometime soon.


Bingham produces a radio show called ‘Walter’s World’ for Israel National News (Arutz 7). Courtesy Walter Bingham

Besides all that, I still travel to Europe to speak to schools, and at the end of January I am scheduled to be taken to England for a second time within three months for events organized by the International March of the Living.

A friend recently asked me, “When will you retire?”

I had to look up the meaning in the dictionary and I then replied,





“You will have to put up with me for many more years because I am looking forward to being a part of Israel’s bright future in 2024 and beyond.”

Although there are currently some hiccups around the Abraham Accords, there is no doubt that in the smoke-filled rooms of the Arab leadership meetings, there is an air of optimism because, having applied the brakes as a result of Israel’s problem with Hamas and Hamas’s connection with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the Arab states which until now have only covertly been talking to Israel, will hopefully be able to openly consider establishing diplomatic relations in the near future. That will also give extra meaning to the slogan Am Yisrael chai! The nation of Israel lives!


Parts 1 and 2 of Walter's article were published as one feature in The Jerusalem Report, on 8 January 2024.

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