July 19, 2005 by

Deborah Hutton


Categories: Writers/Editors

Deborah Helen Hutton, the first health editor of British Vogue, died on July 15 of cancer. She was 49.
Raised near Langley, Norfolk, England, Hutton graduated from York University with a degree in English. She worked for the British Council until 1979 when she won a talent contest and landed a job at Vogue magazine. At the time, the publication had no “Health” section, so Hutton launched one. She spent the next two decades writing hundreds of articles on a variety of health issues — from female ejaculation and incontinence to weight gain and loss.
When she wasn’t writing articles for Vogue or freelancing for other newspapers and magazines, Hutton penned the books “Vogue Complete Beauty,” “Vogue Essential Beauty” and “Vogue Beauty for Life: Health, Fitness, Looks and Style for Women in Their 30s, 40s, 50s.” She co-authored “The Parents Book: Getting on Well With Our Children” with Ivan Sokolov, and edited the “Vogue Exercise Book” and “Vogue Complete Diet and Exercise.”
Due to the nature of her job, Hutton was supremely “health aware.” She ran half-marathons, became a yoga enthusiast, drank in moderation, watched what she ate and rarely became ill. Last November, however, Hutton sought treatment for a persistent cough and was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. She would later quip: “There is no Stage V.”
Determined to face her fate with grace and dignity, Hutton spent the last eight months of her life chronicling her battle with the disease and campaigning to help others. Even though she was a non-smoker for 24 years, Hutton fought to remove the societal stigma that people with lung cancer “bring it upon themselves.” She also appeared on television and urged young girls and women to avoid smoking.
Hutton’s latest book, “What Can I Do to Help?” was released on July 14. The guide offers practical information on cancer, and gives family and friends useful tips on how to make the patient’s life a little bit easier. As a final gesture of compassion, she donated her royalties to Macmillan Cancer Relief, a British charity that helps people living with the disease.
To keep her friends and fans abreast of her progress, Hutton wrote nearly every day in her Weblog. She maintained the journal until last week when it was updated by her husband, photographer Charlie Stebbings, and her twin sister Paris. Hutton is also survived by her four children, her dog Scallywag, her cat Rogan Josh and a very large goldfish.

5 Responses to Deborah Hutton

  1. Ann Huntley

    A Beautiful woman, in every sense of the word. I met her once many years ago and have never forgotten it. I pray she is in the arms of God now, and that her lovely family are comforted by the memories of such a joyful and wonderful woman.
    Much Love Annxxx

  2. Emma Daglish

    I met Debs, Charlie, Freddie and Clemmie only once but in those few hours she changed my life and gave me great hope for my son Felix. She was so generous in spirit and so full of hope it was infectious and helped us enormously, they are in my prayers and will never be forgotten. Simon, Emma, Oscar and Felix Daglish.

  3. Elizabeth Mills

    I only read of Deborah’s death when flicking through Vogue at the hairdresser. I was so distressed that I had no idea of her illness, let alone her passing. For 15 years I met her regularly when I was running the charity, Research into Ageing, and she was preparing her excellent book on health in later life. I mourn her passing, and send my sympathy and love to Charlie and family. She was a beautiful, witty and intelligent woman who I greatly admired. RIP.

  4. caroline ellwood

    Dear Charlie,
    I only saw the terrible news this morning, I am so very sorry for you and your family and send you my thoughts and love.

  5. florence gastambide

    Very very sad and upset to learn that Debby died.
    I have been au pair in her family during 1990 and she and her family were a very cheerfull family and they helped me a lot.
    I hope life is going on well with her “souvenir”.

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