Tributes to Sir David, a Giant of Journalism

Daily Mail (London), June 11, 1998 | Go to article overview

Tributes to Sir David, a Giant of Journalism


TRIBUTES poured in to Sir David English last night.

Among them were: Lord Rothermere, chairman of the Daily Mail and General Trust: 'I knew David English as a journalist and close friend, as we had worked together for over 30 years. He was simply the best of his generation and the most able and talented editor that I and Fleet Street have known.

'He took over the editorship of the Daily Mail at the lowest ebb in its fortunes and carried out with genius its conversion to a middle-market tabloid so that, by the time he retired, the Daily Mail had again achieved the dominant position it had enjoyed under Lord Northcliffe.

'Our loss is shared by the wider world of journalism, as his influence stretched far beyond the confines of Fleet Street. His energy, leadership and enthusiasm made changes happen.

'His recent advice within the Press Complaints Commission skilfully moulded the present code of editorial ethics and in so doing he safeguarded the freedom of our Press, and in the Commonwealth he fought with equal skills for the rights of imprisoned journalists and many have good reason to be grateful to him.

'His love of life, wisdom, wit and humour made him a superb editor and irreplaceable friend to us all.' Paul Dacre, Editor of the Daily Mail: 'David English was the greatest journalist of his generation. With Lord Rothermere, he reinvented the Daily Mail, which became the outstanding success story of modern Fleet Street.

'Not only did he have vision, courage and a glorious sense of mischief as a journalist, his unerring sense of style as a man earned him countless friends in politics.

'But at heart he was a newspaperman's newspaperman. He could do every job on the paper better than anyone else and was an inspiration to everybody who worked with him at the Mail. We all owe him an enormous debt. I certainly do.' Buckingham Palace: The Queen was 'very sorry to hear of Sir David's death.' Tony Blair: 'I counted David English as a friend. He was a truly outstanding journalist.

'He never lost his love and enthusiasm for his chosen profession and never lost his eye for a good story.

'He was always great fun to be with and someone who loved talking about politics. He was less well known for the great work he did for charity.'

William Hague: 'Under his editorship, the paper helped reassert the values of hard work, patriotism and individual liberty over an overmighty state, union dominance and socialism. …

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