Photographs of Lillian Roxon, family and friends, 1920s-1970s

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Record title

Photographs of Lillian Roxon, family and friends, 1920s-1970s

Call numbers

PXE 1196

Record identifier


Photographs of Lillian Roxon, family and friends, 1920s-1970s


Photographs of Lillian Roxon, family and friends, 1920s-1970s

Full title

Photographs of Lillian Roxon, family and friends, 1920s-1970s



Call Numbers

PXE 1196

Record Identifier

Physical Description


1 slide - colour

3 transparencies - colour

7 negatives - black & white

247 photographs - Chiefly black & white

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Includes family portraits prior to and after the Roxon family's arrival to Australia from Italy in 1932, scenes of family parties and events, individual portraits of Lillian Roxon throughout her life from childhood to adulthood. Also scenes with friends and from her journalism career in the USA when she worked with and is photographed with musician...


Full title

Photographs of Lillian Roxon, family and friends, 1920s-1970s


Signature / Inscriptions

Some photographs identified and dated on reverse

Description source

Pic.Acc. Upgrade Project - Information transferred from Pic.Acc.4512 as part of the eRecords Project 2012-13



Donated by S. Jobson Darroch

Administrative / Biographical history

Lillian Roxon (1932-1973), journalist and author, was born on 8 February 1932 at Savona, Italy, second of three children of Izydor Ropschitz, medical practitioner, and his wife Rosa, née Breitman. Settling in Brisbane in 1940, Izydor was registered as a medical practitioner on 14 November. Next month he changed his name to Isador Roxon. Lillian boarded at St Hilda's School, Southport, for three years before attending Brisbane State High School.

Lillian Roxon moved to Sydney and enrolled at the University of Sydney. She was drawn into 'the Push', a network of intellectuals and Bohemians whose libertarian philosophy towards sex and politics put it at odds with the restrictive social mores of the 1950s.

After working as a publicist for Anthony Hordern & Sons, a Sydney department store, Roxon broke into journalism in 1957 when hired by Donald Horne, editor of the magazine, Weekend. However she left Australia for the United States of America in 1959. At first she freelanced at Hollywood for Weekend, then joined the New York bureau of the Sydney Morning Herald in 1963. This position enabled her to cover the rebellious social, cultural and political movements that occurred in the 1960s.

At a 1966 press conference, Danny Fields, a publicist and rock band manager, was impressed by Roxon. He introduced her to Max's Kansas City, a New York nightclub at the forefront of the 1960s counter-culture. Its patrons included artists, singers and actors, such as Andy Warhol, Lou Reed, Jane Fonda, John Lennon and Janis Joplin.

Roxon became a central figure at Max's, where she held court among the stars and became a confidante to many influential people in the music business. In 1968 she set out to chronicle the rock scene and counter-culture in what was to be the world's first encyclopaedia of rock music. Lillian Roxon's Rock Encyclopedia was published in 1969.

The encyclopaedia made Roxon something of a celebrity. Her own portrait for it was taken by one of her famous friends, Linda Eastman, a photographer who later married (Sir) Paul McCartney. The book brought Roxon a regular column on rock music in the Sunday News (New York) and another column, 'The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Sex', in Mademoiselle magazine. When Germaine Greer published The Female Eunuch (London, 1970) she dedicated the book to Roxon, whose independence she admired.

While working for the Sydney Morning Herald and writing the encyclopaedia at nights and weekends, Roxon had developed asthma. The asthma attacks, and the weight she developed from the cortisone drugs prescribed for it, imposed severe strains on her. Early in August 1973 she died of a massive asthma attack.

Milliken, Robert, 'Roxon, Lillian (1932–1973)', Australian Dictionary of Biography online, (accessed 26 April 2012)...



Call Numbers

PXE 1196

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