Former Daily Mail editor Arthur Brittenden: 'A towering figure on Fleet Street'

Arthur Brittenden, who has died age 90, has been described as “a towering figure on Fleet Street who worked closely with two of the great newspaper barons of the second half of the 20th century — Lord Beaverbrook and Rupert Murdoch” in an obituary by The Times.

Brittenden was born 23 October 1924 and died on 25 April 2015.

He joined the Yorkshire Post when he was 16 after studying at Leeds Grammar School.

During the Second World War, he served in the Reconnaissance Corps before returning to the Yorkshire Post and then moving to the News Chronicle.

He later joined the Sunday Express where he was foreign editor and then New York correspondent.

He later returned to England as northern editor of the Daily Express and then soon after became deputy to John Junor, editor of the Sunday Express.

An obituary in the Daily Mail described how he joined the Daily Mail in 1964 and then edited the paper from 1966 until 1971.

According to The Times, he showed “warmth and gregariousness during his tenure at the Mail: when a headline misspelt the name of a famous drink, he strolled past the sub-editors the next day, asked which genius had written the headline, then gave the culprit one pound and told him to buy a bottle of Guinness so that he could learn the correct spelling.”

After leaving the Daily Mail, he served as deputy to Larry Lamb, editor of The Sun.

“As long-term assistant editor of The Sun, he played a large part in its early success," said Rupert Murdoch. "He was a highly skilled journalist and a true friend."

After leaving the print industry, he became a consultant for Bell Pottinger, a public relations firm.

“Britt” as he was known to friends, married three times and had no children.

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