Richard Henry Fry

Richard Fry, a former financial editor of the Manchester Guardian, has died, aged 101.

He was one of the great postwar financial journalists and his career with the Manchester Guardian and later The Guardian spanned 26 years.

Born Richard Freund in Berlin, an Astro-Hungarian citizen, he developed a love of literature from an early age and at 19 published his first book of verse. He began to learn English as a young boy and in his early 20s translated an English novel into German. This led to his first job in journalism, working for a German newspaper as its London correspondent.

In 1929 he married Katherine Maritz, a Hungarian decorative artist.

When Hitler came to power, Fry was sacked because he was a Jew. He spent the next five years working as a freelance. He also wrote two books, Zero Hour, in 1936, about the coming war, and its sequel, Watch Czechoslovakia!, a year later. His anti-German feeling led him to become a naturalised British citizen and to change his name to Fry.

In 1938, Fry applied for a job as financial editor Cecil Sprigge’s assistant at the Manchester Guardian. Despite not having any experience of the financial markets, he got the job.

The high point of Fry’s career came two years later when Sprigge left at a few minutes’ notice, saying: "You can manage." Fry took the helm as financial editor during the war years when newsprint was in short supply and producing the paper was a struggle. He was not disheartened, his success as financial editor was due to his diligence and extensive contacts.

Fry, who was awarded a CBE for services to journalism, retired in 1965, after which he wrote a regular column for The Banker. He was still filing in his 90s.

His wife Katherine suffered a stroke and died in 2000. They had no children.

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