Today is the 86th birthday of Syed Mohammad Ali, the founder editor of The Daily Star and a luminary in the journalism of Bangladesh.
SM Ali made his way up from a cub reporter to one of the country's most brilliant editors in a career spanning 44 years. He also led the Press Institute of Bangladesh (PIB) as its chairman.
Educated in Calcutta, Dhaka and London, he was one of the few Asian journalists who stood out in regional journalism.
Ali was born to a Bangalee literary family in Moulvibazar in 1928. He was the eldest son of late Syed Mustafa Ali, an official of the Assam Civil Service, and nephew of famous litterateur Syed Mujtaba Ali and Syed Murtaja Ali.
He died in 1993 in a Bangkok hospital at the age of 65.
Ali started off as a reporter with the Pakistan Observer while a student at Dhaka University. He went on to hold important positions in various regional publications in Pakistan, Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore.
He later joined the Press Foundation of Asia as its executive director in the 1970s. In 1981, he became Unesco's regional communication adviser for Asia and the Pacific and was based in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.
Ali returned home in 1989 and had a brief stint with the Bangladesh Observer as editor. He launched The Daily Star in 1991 and worked tirelessly to establish the newspaper as a leading national daily until the day before his flight to Bangkok for treatment.