Ian Buchanan was one of the founding members of the International Society of Olympic Historians (ISOH) and served as that organization’s first president for two terms, from 1991-2000. He guided ISOH through its formative years and helped the group become internationally known and achieve official recognition by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Buchanan was well-known to the world of Olympic history, writing numerous books, including British Olympians, the definitive history of the British Olympic teams, Quest for Gold: The Encyclopaedia of American Olympians (with Bill Mallon), a similar study of the United States Olympic athletes, and the first three editions of Historical Dictionary of the Olympic Movement. Buchanan also published a number of other works on sports history, notably All-Time Greats of British and Irish Sports (with Peter Matthews) in 1995, and The Guinness International Who’s Who of Sport (with Peter Matthews and Bill Mallon).
Buchanan’s business career was as a re-insurance agent, primarily based in Hong Kong, although in retirement he settled back in his native England. For his work in Olympic history, he was made an Honorary Member of ISOH after he stepped down as president in 2000, and was awarded the Olympic Order in Silver in 1997 by the IOC.