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Geoffrey Norman Blainey (born 11 March 1930) is an Australian historian, academic, philanthropist and commentator. Blainey is known for having written texts on the economic and social history of Australia, including The Tyranny of Distance (1966). He has published over 35 books, including histories of the world and of Christianity. Other well known works include The Peaks of Lyell (1954) and A Short History of the World (2000).

Blainey was made a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria in 1967. In 1975 he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for his works to Australian literature. He was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours list of 2000 for his service to academia, research and scholarship.


Blainey was born in Melbourne, Victoria. He studied at the University of Melbourne.

Blainey has often appeared in newspapers and on television. He held chairs in economic history and history at the University of Melbourne for over 20 years. In the 1980s, he was visiting professor of Australian Studies at Harvard University. He received the 1988 Britannica Award for dissemination of knowledge and was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2000.

He was once described as the "most prolific, wide-ranging, inventive, and, in the 1980s and 1990s, most controversial of Australia's living historians".

Blainey is married to author Ann Blainey. They both live in Melbourne.

  • Bolton, Geoffrey. "Geoffrey Blainey" in Kelly Boyd, ed. Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing, vol 1 (1999) pp 93–95
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