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Biography

Hungarian-born Monica Porter grew up mainly in New York before moving to London in her teens. Her father was the Hungarian journalist and writer Peter Halasz, and her mother was the singer and actress Vali Racz (https://www.raczvali.hu).

Although she initially set out to be an actress, Monica turned to journalism in the Seventies, starting as staff writer on the weekly Local Government Chronicle. She has had a long association with  the Daily Mail, for which she has been writing the popular weekly column, Missing and Found, since 1999. Other papers and magazines to which she has contributed features include The Times, Sunday Times, Financial Times, Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Daily Express, Mail on Sunday, Evening Standard, Jewish Chronicle, The Stage, Reader’s Digest, Saga Magazine, British Airways’ Business Life, Good Housekeeping and Psychologies.

In the Seventies Monica wrote and broadcast weekly programmes for Radio Free Europe’s Hungarian section. And in the Nineties she scripted numerous 12-minute Personal View talks on various themes for the BBC World Service, as well as shorter talks for the commercial station London News Radio.

She is the author of six non-fiction books – The Paper Bridge: A Return to Budapest (1981 and 2009), Deadly Carousel: A Singer’s Story of the Second World War (1990, 2006 and 2021),  Dreams and Doorways: Turning Points in the Early Lives of Famous People (1993 and 2014), Long Lost: The Story of the Newspaper Column That Started the Reunion Industry (2010), Raven: My Year of Dating Dangerously (2014 and 2020) and Children Against Hitler: The Young Resistance Heroes of the Second World War (2020).

Monica lives in London and has two children and four grandchildren. She is a member of the Biographers’ Club, the Free Speech Union and the Social Democratic Party, and a supporter of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, and History Reclaimed.