Friday 28 October 2011

Len Fortune

Memories of the Toronto Sun - Len Fortune

The following is a list of Sun people, living and dead, who influenced my performance, my progress and my humanity while at the little paper on King Street:

Doug Creighton
: Provider of the best work environment that anyone could possibly hope for: It really was paradise. I miss you Big Guy.

Peter Worthington: Canada's most prolific journalist and my idol..

Les Pyette: Made it possible for me to fulfill most of my dreams while at the Sun. I owe Lester the most.

Julie Kirsh: A true friend and a great lady, it was a privilege to have her in my corner.

Trudy Eagan: Her kindness and encouragement in the early years helped me find my way.

John Webb: The late John "Gentleman" Webb hired me and taught me tons about life and managing.

Andy Donato: I was always in awe of his genius and his warmth. 

Mike Simpson: A friend and a man of integrity (copy edited two of my books).

Joe Duffy: My life at the Sun would have been a lot less exciting without the presence of "Hollywood Joe".

Thomas Williams: This ex-Sun staffer made me laugh until my gut split - funny guy and great story teller.

Gary Latham: A man of great humility, I enjoyed his friendship.

Ed Moran: An extremely brilliant man who tolerated my antics for a number of years.

Gord Pick: One of the most talented people ever to leave the Sun. He was forced to the Calgary Sun.

J.D. MacFarlane: The journalism chair while I was at Ryerson and editorial director for a time at the Sun - he begrudgingly liked me.

Ed Monteith: A true man of print who bled Sun 75 red and who had my respect.

Peter O'Sullivan: One of the few who influenced my design style - a great tabloid editor.

Peter Brewster: His toughness and his ability to run a tight ship always impressed me.

Wayne Parrish: An incredibly talented journalist who always had honesty on his side.

Paul Henry: I loved the guy, but his tragic end raised my awareness of hiring too young. The bright lights of the big city knocked him out.

Barry Gray: Loyal amidst a tough run on the photo desk; an honorable guy to have covering your back. 

Jac Holland: Probably the most relaxed man on the planet, great human being. 

Wanda Goodwin: A great gal who it made it possible for me to do my first book. 

Veronica Henri: Proved me right by becoming a thoroughly professional and outstanding photographer. 

Stan Behal: The most charming of all the pixels gatherers, all-around good guy. 

Silvia Pecota: A visual genius whose passion and dedication to her art knew no equal.

Sandra Macklin
: The consummate news editor, she knew her stuff.

Howard MacGregor: The ideal desk person, he asked the right questions.

Paul Heming: "Fair dinkum" all the way good buddy.

Ben Grant: Benny and I jointly hold the Sun record for the using the headline "Brrrrrrrr" in weather spreads.

Valerie Gibson: Vivacious, vivacious, vivacious and chants like hell - that's a good thing.
Rita DeMontis: Beautiful woman, but way too generous  Thanks Rita.

George Gross: A lovable "kiddo" who was always on my side, even when he wasn't.

Linda Leatherdale: The world's first multi-tasker: Along with being my personal chauffeur (the Oakville run), Linda managed a business section, busted out a daily column, did TV spots, ran seminars, looked after a family and still found time to party . . . WOW!

Tim Peckham: A talented Newfoundlander who I should have listened to more.

Jim Thomson: Jim edited all of my over-the-top e-mails to my overlords. I'm forever thankful.

Gord Walsh: Gord's in my dreams a lot lately - I don't know why; any old how, he is/was a straight-talking guy all the way.

Al Parker: A journalist with a big heart; I always appreciated Al's "forgive me" hugs.

Jim Jennings: To get me out of his beard, Jim appointed me managing editor of the Baby Suns (Durham, Hamilton, York and Brampton ) giving me chance to show how a real tabloid gets done. It was appreciated.

Paul Godfrey and Mike Strobel: Two lovable guys who, I know, are still trying to find my missing stock options from the Great Quebecor sale.

The Stapley Brothers
(Gord and Chuck): Outstanding work ethic and fun guys to be with.

Nancy Stewart: Beautiful, stylish, gracious, kind and good with a knife, Pez and badges.
Greg Viens: I owe my career to Greg - he told me about a job opportunity at the Sun way back in the '70s.

Larry Craig: Pressroom superintendent and my production confidant.

Patrick McCormick: My partner-in-crime for a spell before his departure to 1 Yonge St. 

Shiela Chidley, who endured my renditions of "Sheila, Sheila, oh my little Sheila, her name drives me insane" which I sung to her almost daily; always in a different key and always with different words.  

Oh! I almost forgot the Rimmer (Paul Rimstead) and Don Ramsay.

Paul's early words, which captivated Toronto in the '70s, inspired me to write simple.

And from Don, I developed a phobia of microfiche.

All the best to the present staff at the Toronto Sun, I wish you many successes and a happy 40th.

And to the past staff, I hope your memories of the Sun are as precious as mine. 

That's all folks. Peace and wellness to all.

Love Lenny


If you are a Toronto Sun Day Oner and have a bio or memories to share, please email with a photo before Nov. 1.

If you are one of the hundreds of men and women in all departments who followed The 62 and want to share your memories of the Toronto Sun, email TSF.


  1. Dam Lenny, I didn't make the short list on influential people! I brought you lots of exclusive front page photos to work with! Never mind, I enjoyed working with you from our days at Inland Pub. to the Toronto Sun.
    Bill Sandford

  2. Dear Lenny: Was reading your posting and saw your comment regarding Paul Henry. Did something tragic happen to Paul? Would love to know about it, if you have a moment to comment. I hope you are well. Joanne Lovering

    1. Hello Joanne, Len has sent us a message for you. Please send an email to and we will forward the message to you.