Journalist José María Carrascal dies at 92: from his friendship with Julio Iglesias to the love of his life, Ellen

The journalist and writer José María Carrascal He died this Friday at the age of 92 at his home in Madrid. He lived alone and his body was found this afternoon by a friend who notified the Emergency services. Summa doctors confirmed his death.

Known for his charisma and extensive collection of colorful ties, José María Carrascal was a correspondent in New York and Berlin. He covered some of the most important events of the 60s and 70s, such as the landing of man on the Moon or the Vietnam War.

At the beginning of the 90s he returned to Spain and became one of the biggest stars on Antena 3 to reinvent the evening news programmes, which with him and his striking ties began to include opinion. He presented News at eight and in 1990 he went on to direct the evening newsuntil 1997. For a brief period in 1996 he also presented the program We are all humanscon Javier Sardá. He obtained important recognitions for his journalistic work, such as the Antena de Oro, the Mariano de Cavia Prize or the Luca de Tena Prize, which he received in 2021. As a writer, Carrascal published more than twenty books, among which the novel Groovy, for which he won Nadal award in 1972. He also wrote other political and historical works, such as The agony of felipismo (1995).

“What I like is writing,” he said. In recent years she collaborated with different written media, such as ABC. His last column was for Princess Leonor, to whom he wished luck after swearing in the Constitution last Tuesday, October 31.

Ellen, the love of his life

Born in El Vellón on December 8, 1930, he studied Philosophy and Nautics but soon discovered that boats were not his thing: “I realized that that was not for me. I had a false concept of navigation. It is not so romantic “It’s hard, very hard, and I had no leadership skills,” he revealed in his memoirs. His first novel, in fact, was based on these experiences: The captain who never commanded a ship.

He went to Berlin and found work as a Spanish teacher and translator. He also wrote his first chronicles and met his wife, who was also his neighbor at the time: Ellen, a Pan Am airline stewardess. They married in 1960, in a civil wedding celebrated in Berlin and later by the Church in Spain, in the Montserrat monastery, the only temple in the country where they could marry in German. “It is very important to have the same hobbies. Not all. There have to be hobbies that are not shared to discover new facets of your partner,” commented José María Carrascal. “We didn’t have children because we got married late. That has separated some marriages, but it brought us together much more. To adapt to another person, especially if you have a strong personality, you have to have generosity, be willing to give up a lot and give a lot. I can’t imagine living without my wife. “She has helped me with everything.”

They lived for 25 years in the United States before returning to Spain, a decision that Ellen did not like too much. Julio Iglesias, with whom he had become close, convinced him to accept the position: “He passed through New York and called me and told me to accept it. ‘Accept it, you are going to earn much more on television, more people are going to know you, which will be good and bad, but for your books it will be very good for you,’ he told me. I trusted Julio’s talent as a businessman.” And from there to fame.

José María spoke happily about retirement: “Retirement is fantastic. You are free, because whoever is in control of their time is the owner of their life. It is the best and longest stage of life,” he said. In recent years he had reduced his collaborations for a new and important mission: “My wife is the most important thing to me and now I have to be with her because she is in a wheelchair. She has dedicated her life to me, the least I can do is do the same for her.”