K. M. Mathew

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K. M. Mathew
KM Mathew 2011 stamp of India.jpg
K. M. Mathew
Born(1917-01-02)2 January 1917
Died1 August 2010(2010-08-01) (aged 93)
Kottayam, Kerala, India
Known forChief EditorMalayala Manorama
Annamma Mathew
(m. 1942; died 2003)

K. M. Mathew (2 January 1917 – 1 August 2010) was a Chief Editor of the Malayalam-language daily, Malayala Manorama.[1][2][3][4]

He joined the newspaper as Managing Editor and general manager in 1954 and took office as the Chief Editor in 1973. Under his leadership, Malayala Manorama launched many publications such as the women's magazine Vanitha in Malayalam and Hindi, the weekly English magazine The Week, the farmer's magazine Karshakasree, the children's magazines Balarama, Kalikudukka in Malayalam and Magic Pot in English and the encyclopaedic Manorama Yearbook in Malayalam, English, Hindi, Tamil and Bengali.

Early life[edit]

K. M. Mathew was the eighth of nine children of K. C. Mammen Mappillai and Kunjandamma. He was born in Kottayam on 2 January 1917. After completing his schooling from many schools including M.D.Seminary School, Kottayam and Leo XIII School, Alappuzha, he joined CMS College Kottayam to study history. Later, he completed his B.A Economics from Madras Christian College. He married Annamma Mathew on 7 September 1942 at his house in Kottayam.[citation needed]


Mathew started his career in 1940 as a planter in Chikmagalur where he joined his brother, K. M. Jacob, to take care of the family-owned Bhadra Estate. He spent seven years in Chikmagalur estate. During this period, he opened a balloon manufacturing facility named Mysore Rubber Factory in the estate premises but the factory was soon closed due to the pollution it caused. The machinery at this factory was later transferred to Madras when his younger brother K. M. Mammen Mappillai started MRF Limited. In 1947, Mathew moved to Bombay to start Allied Agencies.

After spending seven years in Bombay, Mathew moved to Kottayam and joined Malayala Manorama as the Managing Editor and general manager on 15 May 1954. Following the death of his elder brother and the then Chief-Editor K. M.Cherian on 14 March 1973, Mathew took office as the Chief Editor of Malayala Manorama, a position he held until his death on 1 August 2010. Mathew infused professionalism into Malayala Manorama's management with the help of world's leading consultants. Under Mathew's leadership, Malayala Manorama grew into 17 editions and crossed a circulation of more than 1.6 million copies.

Mathew served in the following capabilities:

Chairman – Audit Bureau of Circulations(ABC) – (1970)
Chairman – Press Trust of India[1] – (1979)
Chairman – Research Institute for Newspaper Development(RIND) – (1979)
President – Indian Newspaper Society
Founder trustee – Press Institute of India
Member – Press Council of India
Executive committee member – Federation of International Newspaper Publishers and Editors, France.


In 1998, Mathew was awarded the Padma Bhushan.[5] He has received many other awards including Foundation of Freedom of Information Award (1991), National Citizen's award (1992), Ramakrishna Jay Dayal award (1995), Durga Prasad Chaudhary award (1996), Press Academy Award (1997) and B D Goenka Award (1996).

On his first death anniversary, India Post issued a commemorative postage stamp.[6] At the Parliament House, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh received an album containing the stamp from Kapil Sibal, Union minister for communications and information technology. The five-rupee stamp had a print run of 300,000. The stamp, first day cover and cancellation were designed by Nenu Gupta.


His wife, Annamma Mathew, was a culinary expert and Chief Editor of Vanitha, who wrote under the name Mrs. K. M. Mathew. His book of memoirs, Annamma. (based on his wife),[7] was published by Penguin in Malayalam (2004) and in English (2005).

Mathew and Annamma Mathew had four children, including Mammen Mathew.


"Eighth Ring" Autobiography of K M Mathew

His autobiography titled Ettamathe Mothiram[8][9][10] (The Eighth Ring) was published in 2008.


Though suffering from age-related ailments, Mathew continued to work and was socially active until a few months before his death. Even after he stopped going to office, he continued to work as Chief Editor. He died at his home in Kottayam on 1 August 2010, aged 93. He was buried the next day at the New Orthodox Church(Puthen Pally,Kottayam) near his home. His wife Annamma had predeceased him in 2003.


  1. ^ a b President condoles death of K M Mathew. Hindustan Times. 1 August 2010.
  2. ^ "President, Manmohan, Sonia, condole death of K. M. Mathew". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Press Trust of India. Retrieved 1 August 2010.
  3. ^ "Doyen of Indian media, K M Mathew passes away". Ndtv.com. Retrieved 1 August 2010.
  4. ^ "Malayala Manorama Chief Editor K.M. Mathew passes away". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 1 August 2010. Retrieved 1 August 2010.
  5. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  6. ^ "K.M. Mathew an Indian legend, says Manmohan". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 3 August 2011.
  7. ^ "Annamma". Easternbookcorporation.com. Retrieved 1 August 2010.
  8. ^ "Ettamathe Mothiram". Indulekha. 20 February 2008. Archived from the original on 8 January 2010. Retrieved 1 August 2010.
  9. ^ "Ettamathe Mothiram by K. M. Mathew". Indiaplaza.in. Retrieved 1 August 2010.
  10. ^ "Ettamathe Mothiram". manoramaonline.com. Archived from the original on 18 January 2010. Retrieved 1 August 2010.