Alison Eadie, who died last week aged 50, was a gifted financial journalist whose contributions enlivened the business and personal finance pages of The Daily Telegraph. Over a wide range of financial subjects, Eadie brought a light touch and a sympathetic eye for the human aspect.
Eadie was a vivacious and positive personality whose mischievous laugh could light up an editorial office, but her life was dogged by ill health.
As a teenager and again as a young mother, she suffered bouts of illness connected with having been born with a hole in the heart; in her late 30s she recovered from bowel cancer.
Early in 2002 she noticed “a slowness and flat-footedness” in her left leg, and six months later she was diagnosed with MND, an incurable condition that attacks nerves in the brain and spinal cord that control movement.
For a woman of such bubbling energy – who loved cycling and tennis and had planned to walk the West Highland Way to mark her 50th – it was a particularly cruel turn of fate.
In July 2002, the advance of her illness made her decide to stop contributing regularly to the Telegraph, and she concentrated on writing a personal chronicle for her family.
Alison Lilian Eadie was born on 23 June, 1954 and spent the first two years of her life in Karachi, where her father was an engineer.
She was educated at North London Collegiate School, where she was school captain, excelled at games and moved in a lively circle that included Clive Anderson and Michael Portillo, the future husband of her elder sister Carolyn. She went on to read History at Girton College, Cambridge.
After Cambridge, Eadie spent two years at Harvard as a Kennedy Scholar, taking an MA in American History and pursuing classes at Harvard Business School.
She began her journalistic career as a news reporter for the radio station WGBH in Boston and returned to London to work for a US wire service, Unicom News, in Fleet Street in 1978.
She went on to work for Financial Weekly and for The Times.
After the birth of her children she worked part-time, first for The Independent and then for The Daily Telegraph, and did freelance work.
In 1985 she married Nino Martines, a Sicilian restaurateur. They had two daughters, Alessandra and Daniela.