Joan Sutton Straus, a writer who was hired by the Toronto Sun on its first day of publication and served as its first award-winning lifestyle editor, has passed away. She was 89. Sutton Straus gained a reputation as a love columnist because of her witty essays about sex and relationships, but in reality, she was a perceptive interviewer who added her own special touch to sit-downs with the famous and the good. She conducted interviews with former Egyptian first lady Jehan Sadat, Ivana Trump, and former Israeli prime minister Shimon Peres. She had three interviews with Nancy Reagan, the president’s wife, and wrote about the Reagan campaign.
Sutton Straus, a Mimico native, began her career as a journalist at the now-defunct Toronto Telegram. Her annual list of hot men was essential reading. In a time before political correctness, a newspaper columnist had created a list of sexy men, all of whom were actors. That was a bit of a cop-out, Straus always said. She remarked, “If you’re going to do something like that, let’s be braver and choose 10 of our own.” She chose 10 local men, including Bill Davis, the premier at the time, in typical fashion. The essay was intended to appear in the Life section, but when founding publisher Doug Creighton saw it in the writing room, he moved it up to Page 1.
According to Sutton Straus, “one wife sent me roses and said, “Thanks, I’ve had the nicest night in years.” When phones had hooks in the past, hers began to ring out of it . “People were upset that I had included them on the list. They were upset because they believed it was “undignified,” but if they weren’t included the following year, they were upset because they had been left off, the speaker continued. It became a very contentious and well-liked annual staple.
She informed me, “The Sun was a reality show before there were reality shows. Paul Rimstead was intoxicated at the time. Peter Worthington was riding an elephant while I was gushing about my love. And that was a component of the newspaper’s character. She bemoaned the fact that a lot of stuff was lost in 1982 when the paper was sold to Maclean Hunter. She had known fellow author George Anthony for more than ten years. They were coworkers at the Telegram before becoming Day Oners at the Toronto Sun, which had just been founded. Both contributed significantly to developing the Sun ethos as columnists. In a recent interview, Anthony praised Sutton Straus’ independence and “irreverent sense of humor,” calling her a devoted friend and a trailblazer. He said of how happy he and she were “to be welcomed” to work at the fledgling Toronto Sun in 1972.
We were informed politely and professionally that Paul Rimstead and the sports section would be the stars while we were the workhorses. And we agreed with that completely and thought it made sense. However, Anthony noted that after three to four months, “many were stopping.” on the street with us. The readers, the people, picked their own stars. We were created and elevated by the readers . We continued to be the workhorses, but all of a sudden we took on the names “George Anthony” and “Joan Sutton.” Sutton Straus recently referred to the occasion as “the happiest professional event of my life.” Anthony remarked, “Her columns really took off.” “The more heartfelt writing she produced, the more popular it became. She was well-known for writing for women, but she also had a sizable male readership.
“We put in a lot of effort and enjoyed every second. We worked very hard, but we also had a great time. Additionally, the Sun had that peculiar, lovely chemistry. Straus, Sutton She may have been known for her love columns, but she was also knowledgeable about the newspaper industry. She was also adept at luring women readers to the nascent publication. Young ladies picked up the newspaper to read about her opinions on relationships, fashion, and style. To read the sports section, their superiors stole it from the secretaries’ desks. Sutton Straus was named the province’s Agent General to the United States in 1990, and in 2021, he was made a member of the Order of Ontario. In 1982, she got hitched to Oscar Straus, a well-known American businessman. They had a close relationship with Creighton and Marilyn.