Frank Moraes

Other names: 

Francis Robert Moraes


Oxford, OX1 3UQ
United Kingdom
51° 43' 26.2992" N, 1° 16' 30.414" W
Date of birth: 
01 Jan 1907
Precise DOB unknown: 
City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Current name city of birth: 
Current name country of birth: 
Date of death: 
02 May 1974
Location of death: 
London, England



Frank Moraes was born in Bombay in 1907, the son of a Catholic Goan civil engineer. From 1927 to 1934 he read history at Oxford University as a member of St Catherine's Society. He was active in student politics and was elected President of the Oxford Majlis and London Indian Majlis (Indian Students' Association) and of the Indian Students' Union in England. Moraes was affected by events such as the General Strike and the economic depression of the late 1920s. He was the editor of an Oxford student newspaper, Bharat. Later he studied law at Lincoln's Inn, London, and was called to the Bar.

He returned to India in 1934 and practised as a barrister for a few months. Bored with his profession, he wrote several articles for a subsidiary newspaper of The Times of India. In 1936 he joined the staff of The Times of India as a journalist and in 1938 he was promoted to junior assistant editor. From 1942 to 1945 he toured Burma and China as the newspaper's war correspondent.

Moraes married in 1937. He and his wife Beryl had a son Francis (Dom), who became a well-known poet in the 1960s. During the 1940s Beryl Moraes became ill and was confined thereafter to mental institutions. From 1946 to 1949 Francis Moraes lived in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and worked as editor of The Times Ceylon and The Morning Standard. He also served as Indian correspondent for several British newspapers. In 1950 he returned to The Times of India and became its first Indian editor. In 1957 he was appointed editor-in-chief of the Goenka family newspaper, the Indian Express (formerly the Morning Standard). He also wrote articles for various newspapers outside India. Occasionally he broadcast for the BBC and Radio Australia. In December 1972 he retired from the Indian Express. He settled in London in 1973 and died the following year. 


Indira Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (met him in London when Gandhi was attending the Round Table conference of 1931), Humayun Kabir (shared rooms with him in Oxford for a year), Dom Moraes (son), Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahmud Sahebzada (President of the Oxford Majlis for a time when Moraes was at Oxford), Shapurji Saklatvala (met him in London when studying for the Bar).

Published works: 

Moraes, F. R. and Stimson, H L, Introduction to India (London: Oxford University Press, 1943)

Report on Mao's China (New York: Macmillan, 1953)

Jawaharlal Nehru: A Biography (London: Macmillan, 1956)

Behind The Bamboo Curtain (London: Phoenix House, 1956)

Sir Purshotamdas Thakurdas (Bombay: Asia Publishing House, 1957)

Yonder One World: A Study of Asia and the West (London: Macmillan, 1957)

The Revolt in Tibet (New York: Macmillan, 1960)

India Today (New York: Macmillan, 1960)

Nehru, Sunlight and Shadow (Bombay: Jaico Publishing House, 1964)

The Importance of Being Black: An Asian Looks at Africa (New York: Macmillan, 1965)

Witness to an Era: India 1920 to the Present Day (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1973)

Howe, Edward and Moraes, Frank, John Kenneth Galbraith Introduces India (London: Deutsch, 1974)

Contributions to periodicals: 

Times of India

Secondary works: 

Moraes, Dom, My Son’s Father: An Autobiography (London: Secker & Warburg, 1968)

Archive source: 

GB102 PP MS 24, SOAS Archive, London

Correspondence and literary papers of Frank Moraes' son, Dom Moraes, Brotherton Collection, University of Leeds

Correspondence and literary papers of Frank Moraes' son, Dom Moraes, Special Collections, University of Arizona Library

Correspondence and literary papers of Frank Moraes' son, Dom Moraes,  Special Collections, University of Iowa Libraries

Correspondence and literary papers of Frank Moraes' son, Dom Moraes, State University of New York College at Buffalo

Correspondence and literary papers of Frank Moraes' son, Dom Moraes, Harry Ranson Humanities Research Centre Library, University of Texas at Austin