David Brown, the agriculture editor of The Daily Telegraph, has died, aged 54. He collapsed from a subarachnoid brain haemorrhage and did not regain consciousness.
Brown won several national awards for his journalism, but most in the industry will remember him for his exclusive in October 1987, that Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) had arrived in Britain.
He was born on 25 February, 1947, at Penicuik, near Edinburgh. His love of words encouraged him to leave school at 16 and embark on a career in journalism.
Brown’s interest in agriculture stemmed from covering farming stories for the Berwickshire News, where he worked before moving to become chief reporter of the Hawick Express.
He later moved to the Scottish Daily Mail, Hampshire Chronicle, and Farmers Weekly, before he entered Fleet Street in November 1977 as agriculture correspondent for The Sunday Telegraph. He joined The Daily Telegraph in 1989.
In his 38 years as a journalist, Brown covered farming and food issues in the US, Africa and throughout Europe. He wrote for a wide range of magazines and appeared frequently on radio and television.
Daily Telegraph editor Charles Moore said: "David Brown’s death is a tragic loss to journalism and to farming. David’s expertise has never been more important than now, as agriculture struggles with its worst crisis of modern times. He will be greatly missed as a truly professional reporter and a delightful colleague."
He is survived by his widow Anna, their daughter Fiona and three stepchildren, Victoria, Thomas and Edward. A memorial service will be held at St Bride’s Church, Fleet Street, on 20 September.