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Humanists UK mourns Michael Gore CVO CBE (1935–2022)

Humanists UK is saddened to hear of the death of its patron, diplomat, and naturalist Michael Gore CVO CBE.

Michael Gore was a British Governor, former ambassador, and author. He was born in Kingston on Thames in 1935 and educated at Xaverian College in Brighton where he was once threatened with expulsion for promoting Darwinism, having read about evolution by natural selection during his school holidays. The experience left him with an uncompromising attitude to what he saw as religious extremism.

He began his working life as a trainee reporter on the Portsmouth Evening News. When he was called up for National Service he was commissioned and posted to Cyprus during the EOKA emergency, where he was Staff Captain in the office of the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Cyprus from 1957-59.

He subsequently joined HM Diplomatic Service and served in Malaysia, Korea, Uruguay (during the Tupamaro uprising) and in four countries in Africa. As Ambassador he experienced the civil war in Liberia and then moved to the Caribbean, first as High Commissioner to the Bahamas and finally as Governor of the Cayman Islands, his final post.

He became a patron on his retirement from the Service, saying,

‘Humanism lifts us out of the confines of religious bigotry to which so many of us were brought up, and allows us to explore a world which is free from the narrow dogma of belief in the almighty in whatever form he takes. I was not born a Catholic, nor my friends Jews, Anglicans or Muslims. We were all born human beings and indoctrinated into the religion of our parents. The evil which has resulted from this indoctrination is what we witness today in the form of religious extremism.’

Gore was a passionate environmentalist and naturalist and wrote books on the birds of Korea, Uruguay, and The Gambia. He also wrote numerous articles on conservation, illustrated with his own photographs of wildlife.

He was appointed CBE in 1992 and CVO in 1994.

Commenting on his death, Chief Executive Andrew Copson said:

‘Michael was a committed humanist whose advice and counsel were invaluable to our international work to support humanists at risk. Our thoughts are with his friends, family, and all who loved him.’


For further comment or information, media should contact Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson at or phone 020 7324 3072 or 07534 248 596.

Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by 100,000 members and supporters, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. We provide ceremonies, pastoral care, education, and support services benefitting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all.


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