Mahfouz Doss, Former HFPA President and Award-Winning Journalist, Dies at 97

Mahfouz Doss, a former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and an award-winning Egyptian journalist, has died. He was 97.

The association shared the news of his death in a press release Thursday. His cause of death has not been shared at this moment.

“We are incredibly saddened at the passing of Mahfouz Doss,” said Helen Hoehne, current president of the HFPA. “He was a true pioneer of the HFPA, having joined the association in 1959 when the ceremonies were held at the famous Cocoanut Grove Club at the Ambassador Hotel. His six decades of service saw the growth of the Golden Globes into an iconic global brand. We are forever grateful for his leadership, generosity of spirit and his dedication as a journalist and colleague.”

Born on Aug. 18, 1925, in Port Said, Egypt, Boss knew early on that he was interested in the entertainment industry. “As a teenager in Cairo, I used to go to the movies,” he said in an association interview in 2013. “I was fascinated by actors. And I was fascinated by stories.”

Before heading into Hollywood, Boss, who was fluent in Arabic, French and English, graduated from the University of Toulouse, France, with a degree in Chemical Engineering, as well as a master’s degree in organic chemistry and applied chemistry. In 1974, he also traveled the world as a guest lecturer for engineering organizations, starting in Japan and finishing in Iceland.

He began his career in journalism in the ’50s at Al Ahram Financial, a financial and business magazine published by a leading daily newspaper in the Middle East. Once he moved to the United States in 1959, he started working as a Hollywood correspondent for the weekly Egyptian newspaper Watani. While working as a journalist, he attended more than 3,000 industry press conferences and set visits.

That same year, he joined HFPA, where he served in several roles throughout his time with the organization, including being a member of the board for more than 25 years, chairman of the board, vice president and president from 2000-01.

In 2013, he received the Life Achievement Award from the Egyptian American Organization for his leadership in journalism, chemical engineering and in the community.

When Doss wasn’t working, his other passions included photography. During his travels, he took more than 5,000 photos during his visits to 114 countries.

He is survived by his wife Juliette Doss and his brother George Doss.

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