Navigation

Photo of John Bird

John Bird

An ex offender, ex runaway, publisher, self employed printer, author, journalist, and entrepreneur; John Bird is best known as the founder and editor-in-chief of the the Big Issue.

Main details

Occupation Founder of The Big Issue

An ex offender, ex runaway, publisher, self employed printer, author, journalist, and entrepreneur; John Bird is best known as the founder and editor-in-chief of the the Big Issue. Since 1991 the magazine has been helping rough homeless sleepers in London by giving individuals a real alternative to begging—as the magazine insists, buying the Big Issue is a hand up, not a hand out. His controversial and outspoken criticism of successive government’s policies of homelessness have occasionally ruffled feathers in high places, but has also seen him awarded an MBE for services to homeless people in the 1995 Queen’s Birthday Honours.