Geoffrey Goodman: 'A giant among journalists, one of the greatest ever Mirrormen'

The Daily Mirror has paid tribute to former industrial editor Geoffrey Goodman as one of the paper's greatest ever journalists.

Goodman died last week at the age of 91. Born into an impoverished household in Stockport in July 1922, Goodman won a place at Grammar School and then the London School of Economics after his family moved to London to find work.

He lied about his age to join the RAF and flew bombers and then Mosquito reconnaissance planes during World War Two. He continued to add a year to his age later on in life and initial reports of his death last week listed his age as 92.

After being demobbed in 1946 he joined the Manchester Guardian and then the Mirror, but was sacked in purge of left wingers at the paper in 1948, according to the Telegraph obituary. Goodman was a member of the Communist Party until the early 1950s when he joined Labour.

He worked at left-wing weekly Tribune and the News Chronicle and then, months before the closure of the latter in 1960, he moved to the Daily Herald as industrial editor. It was relaunched as The Sun in 1964 and Goodman left in 1968 to join the Daily Mirror (before The Sun's relaunch under Rupert Murdoch).

After working for many years as industrial editor Goodman retired from the Mirror as assistant editor in 1986. He launched the British Journalism Review in 1989 and edited it for 13 years.

The BJR said on its website: "He will be sorely missed throughout journalism as a champion of the trade and a constant campaigner for higher editorial standards and by the BJR for his tireless enthusiasm and devotion to the journal."

Asked by Press Gazette last year to name the best story he worked on, Goodman said: “When working for the long-deceased Daily Herald I stumbled on a remarkable story of a secret meeting in Paris to find a peace formula for the Vietnam war.

“I interviewed the participants in Paris and filed the story, which was then picked up by the BBC and transmitted worldwide.”

Writing in the Mirror, Kevin Maguire said: “He was a staunch trade unionist, lifelong socialist, fantastic journalist and the most decent, generous, wise man you could ever hope to meet.

“I grew up reading his Mirror columns about the battles for higher pay and better jobs, inspired by the persuasive voice he gave working people ignored or belittled by much of the media.

“Later I was privileged to get to know the warm, humane figure greatly admired by the people he wrote for as well as those chronicled was an extraordinary person.”

Among the many politicians to pay tribute to Goodman were Neil and Glenys Tribute who said in a joint statement: “Throughout his long life, Geoffrey Goodman always lived up to his name.

"He was the warm, strong soul of socialism – gentle and generous in spirit and deed, resolute and dedicated in his beliefs and his work.

“He was a friend and comrade to value – and a great source of stories and fun.

“Geoff was an unsurpassed professional as a journalist, trusted throughout the Labour and Trade Union Movement and respected even by his enemies.

“He was brave in war and in peace, and he never failed to stand up for justice and freedom.

“We will miss him greatly and we send our deepest sympathy to his beloved Margit and their family.”

Daily Miror weekday Peter Willis said: “Geoffrey Goodman was a giant among journalists and one of the greatest ever Mirrormen.     

"Geoffrey was unsurpassed at getting to the heart of the major industrial and political issues when the country was experiencing massive upheaval.            

"He was hugely respected by his peers, those in the corridors of power and, most importantly, our readers, to whom he spoke with passion, wisdom and integrity.

"His tremendous contribution to our profession were justly recognised with a CBE."

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