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Wednesday, September 2, 1998 Published at 10:17 GMT 11:17 UK


Lord Rothermere dies

Lord Rothermere - died on Tuesday

Viscount Rothermere, Vere Harmsworth has died from a heart attack at the age of 73.

He was the last of the great English press barons.

Viscount Rothermere, was the owner of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and the London Evening Standard.

[ image:
"Market leader"
He was taken to St Thomas' Hospital, in London, at 11pm(BST) on Tuesday after flying in from France, where he lived.

His son Jonathan Harmsworth, the present managing director of The Evening Standard, was at his bedside when he died, according to Daily Mail and General Trust director of corporate affairs, Vyvyan Harmsworth.

Lord Rothermere's death comes less than three months after the death of Sir David English, chairman and editor-in-chief of the group. He was aged 67.


[ image: Launched in 1982]
Launched in 1982
Lord Rothermere was the scion of a newspaper dynasty founded by the inventor of popular journalism in UK, his great uncle, the first Lord Northcliffe.

Lord Rothermere had been a prominent figure in the journalistic world for more than 30 years.

He had been a survivor who prospered while all the other great publishing families disappeared.


BBC media correspondent Torin Douglas: "Last of the great newspaper barons"
It was Lord Rothermere who made Fleet Street history by deciding to relaunch the Daily Mail as a tabloid after the old broadsheet had been on the verge of extinction.

Eleven years later, in 1982, he launched the Mail on Sunday.

As well as three market-leading newspapers, the Rothermere empire has the second-largest portfolio of regional papers in the UK and investments ranging from Euromoney Publications to the Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition.


In 1957 he married Patricia Evelyn Beverley Brooks with whom he had one son and two daughters.

After she died in 1992, he married again a year later, this time to Korean-born Maiko Joeong-Shun Lee.

[ image: Murdoch:
Murdoch: "He was an outstanding publisher"
The prime minister said he was shocked and saddened to learn of Lord Rothermere's death, describing him as "an extraordinary man".

In a statement, he said: "He was an extraordinary man and underneath that very bluff exterior was a sharp mind and a very kind personality.

"I grew to value his company and his conversation, and his basic decency."

Opposition leader, William Hague said in a statement: "He made an enormous contribution to public life through his work, his commitment to journalism and particularly in building up Associated Newspapers.

"Those of us fortunate enough to have known him will also remember him for his warmth and humanity.

"His absence will be particularly felt at Associated Newspapers, especially coming so soon after the tragic loss of Sir David English."

'Quintessential proprietor'

In a statement, Rupert Murdoch, chairman and chief executive of News Corporation, said: "He was a valued business competitor and colleague and this is a tremendous loss for the media industry as well.

"He was an outstanding publisher with a sure touch; his absence will be keenly felt as a stalwart defender of our freedoms as well as our responsibilities."

[ image:  ]
Lord Hollick, group chief executive of United News and Media Plc, publishers of The Express, The Express on Sunday and The Star, paid tribute: "Lord Rothermere was the quintessential proprietor, passionate for his papers, robust in his views and commercially courageous.

"He inspired the revolution in mid-market papers in the last 20 years."

Rosie Boycott, editor of The Express, added: "His contribution to the British press is without equal.

"As sole proprietor of the Daily Mail stable of newspapers, he defined the shape of the press in this country for the last decades of the 20th Century."

Jeremy Deedes, managing director of the Telegraph group of newspapers, said: "Lord Rothermere's greatest tribute are his three national newspapers which survive him.

"That all three dominate their markets was, in a large part, down to his foresight, persistence and vision."

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