During his eight-year reign as president from 1972 he broke the inflexibility of the IOC, which had long been plagued by the belief that the committee was an exclusive private club for old gentlemen. His efforts were rewarded in 1980 when he was made Honorary Life President. He was also president of the Irish National Olympic Council from 1950 to 1972.
Lord Killanin was born Michael Morris in London. He was educated at Eton, the Sorbonne and Magdalene College, Cambridge, before embarking on a career in journalism.
He worked for the Daily Express and then the Daily Mail, where he was a war correspondent in China in 1937 and assistant political and diplomatic correspondent. After the Second World War, during which he served in the King's Royal Rifle Corps, he turned his talents to film-making and became a successful producer.
The pipe-smoking peer, who was himself a keen sportsman, is survived by his wife, three sons and a daughter.Reuse content