Deborah Orr, the award-winning journalist and columnist of our sister paper i, has died of cancer at the age of 57, it was announced last night.
Orr, who is survived by her sons, Ivan and Luther, and her stepchildren, Lex and Maddie, was born in Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, in 1962. She married novelist and journalist Will Self in 1997. The couple separated in 2017.
Friend and former colleague Catherine Bennett, the Observer columnist, described Orr (inset) as “one of the cleverest, most unconventional, most fearless people on the planet”.Novelist
Andrew O’Hagan, another former colleague, told the Guardian: “She was completely inspiring and never knowingly not difficult, but she had a huge heart.”
TV presenter and writer Rachel Johnson last night described her as “the warrior queen of journalism” who died too soon. Her book of memoirs, called Motherwell after her home town, is set to be published next year. Early reviews were glowing.
Her death was confirmed by her family, who asked for privacy. Tomorrow’s edition of i will carry a full tribute to our former colleague.