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Oz Founder Richard Neville Dies, Aged 74

Richard Neville, the co-founder of the controversial counterculture magazine Oz, has died aged 74.

Neville died on Sunday, with his wife Julie Clarke Neville and daughters Lucy and Angelica by his side, at his home in northern NSW.

"Our wonderful Richard has gone on to his next adventure," Ms Clarke Neville posted on Facebook, The Australian reported.

Neville rose to prominence in the 1960s, as one of the leading members of that decade's counterculture movement Neville and fellow university students, artist Martin Sharp and Richard Walsh, co-founded Oz in 1963, using it as a vehicle to counter Australia's conservatism of the time.

Issues covered included abortion, censorship, and homosexuality.

The trio was twice charged with printing an obscene publication. They were tried, convicted and sentenced but, after a public outcry, were acquitted on appeal.


They then headed to London to try their luck, launching the equally controversial London Oz.

In 1971, Neville and two of his co-editors, Felix Denis and James Anderson, were tried in the UK for corrupting the morals of children. They were jailed, but later won on appeal. The last Oz was published in 1973.

Prominent Australian barrister Geoffrey Robertson, who helped defend him in the UK Oz trial, paid tribute to his friend in the The Guardian on Monday.

"Those of us privileged to have played against power alongside him will remember the warmest and most generous of friends, a man with a deep moral vision and, when it came to the crunch, the courage of his convictions," Robertson said.

Neville was born in Sydney in 1941, the youngest of three children and attended the University of NSW.

He later wrote a 1979 biography on Charles Sobhraj, the infamous serial killer of Western backpackers in Asia in the 1970s.

He also spent three years writing Hippy Hippy Shake, his book on the 1970s hippy scene.


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