Reg Cudlipp - Former editor, News of the World

Reginald
Cudlipp, (right) who edited the News of the World from 1953 until 1959,
was the last survivor of a great newspaper family. Both his brothers,
Percy and Hugh, edited national newspapers and for one brief period of
10 days, they were all running Fleet Street papers at the same time.

Reg died on 21 January, 2005 at the age of 94.

He
took over the editorship of the News of the World in 1953 when the
paper was selling eight million a week. At the time his older brother
Percy was editor of the Daily Herald and his younger brother Hugh was
editorial director of the Mirror Group. The three brothers all started
their journalistic careers on the Penarth News in South Wales before
going their separate ways. Reg was the last to arrive in Fleet Street
because the Western Mail found his immaculate shorthand and typing
skills invaluable.

He joined the News of the World in 1938 as a
sub editor for nine guineas a week. The following year, at the outbreak
of war, he joined the Royal Artillery and was posted to a searchlight
battery in Gibraltar.

It was not long before his journalistic
skills were spotted by the war office and he was promoted to editor of
a magazine for the soldiers, then commissioned and transferred to
Calcutta as associate editor of Phoenix Magazine, where he witnessed
many of the final events of the Japanese war.

Like many
ex-servicemen, he returned to his old job only to find women had been
recruited to take over his role. He was offered a job in syndication
sales at the paper.

Finally the management decided he would make
a great American correspondent and posted him to New York where he took
his new bride Rachel.

Back in London in 1948 he moved up the
editorial ladder and was appointed editor in 1953 when the paper's
circulation was at a peak.

It was at a time when the News of the World was focusing its attention on the extraordinary post war crime wave.

The
paper's celebrated crime reporter Norman Rae was probably more
successful at solving crimes of the time than Scotland Yard's finest.
On more than one occasion the paper extracted confessions from
high-profile murderers and then paid for their defence in the courts,
as they had done with acid bath murderer John George Haigh.

The News of the World, as always, had its finger firmly on the pulse of its readers, the post-war generation.

Reg
left the News of the World in 1959 and vowed never to return to Fleet
Street. He became director of the Anglo-Japanese Economic Institute and
editor of its quarterly review, Japan .

He and his wife Rachel
became widely respected in diplomatic circles and maintained close
interest in Japan and its relations with the developing world.

He retired in 1986, having been awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure – the first Englishman to receive it.

He spent his retirement in West Sussex with his wife, Rachel.

Bob Warren

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