#OTD in 1975 – Guinness Book of Records co-founder and editor Ross McWhirter dies of wounds inflicted by IRA gunmen (Harry Duggan and Hugh Doherty).

An outspoken critic of the IRA, the BBC Records Breaker presenter had recently offered a £50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of IRA bombers. His killers were captured and charged with his and nine other murders.

Co-author, with this brother Norris McWhirter, of The Guinness Book of World Records. The book was published by the legendary beer company as a “way of settling bar bets”, but it quickly became an institution of authority that nobody could have anticipated.

Ross was shot and killed outside his home after he offered a reward of £50,000 for information leading to the arrest of IRA bombers. The men responsible, Martin O’Connell, Edward Butler, Harry Duggan, and Hugh Doherty were arrested a fortnight later, and sentenced to life imprisonment. They were freed under the amnesty specified in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

After Ross’s death, Norris continued to edit the book into the 1980’s.

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