Ron Thompson: Journalist who spent 30 years on Fleet Street

Ron Thompson, who spent nearly 30 years in Fleet Street died on the 8th August 2008 at the of 81. Ron passed away at East Surrey Hospital following a brief illness.

After leaving the Navy, Ron began his career in journalism in 1948 at the West Norwood Times; rising to London Editor of United Newspapers in Tudor Street responsible for the Yorkshire Post and the other associated group of provincial papers.

Ron joined United Newspapers from Wimbledon Borough News, as Deputy Editor in 1958 with the prime responsibility of Features Editor, covering new film and theatre releases and travel. Ron interviewed some top named celebrities during his career including Sammy Davis Jnr, Sean Connery, Bette Davis and Paul Newman.

Ron was also Chairman of the Critics Circle – the first editor of provincial newspapers to do so.

He was sent as the war correspondent to cover the Turkish/Greek conflict in 1974 and was caught in cross fire between the two countries.

During his career Ron covered all the major royal weddings and by invitation from the Queen, covered the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill on 30th January 1965. His story made the front page of the Sheffield Star under the headline: ‘A Warrior At Rest’.

In the early 1980s, Ron was instrumental in the implementation of desk top publishing across the company, at a time when their was still some resistance to this change. Ron managed acceptance of this new technology among his colleagues.

Ron was made London Editor of United Newspapers in 1983, working with Lindsay Cook (Telegraph and CMPi) as his Deputy. Ron left United in 1986 when the Tudor Street office closed.

He went onto establish his own DTP company but was soon offered the post of Deputy Editor on Docklands News. He held this position for a further 10 years, finishing his professional career at the age of 70. During his time at Docklands News the paper was awarded as the ‘Best Free Paper’ on Docklands. Ron also edited the CPU for a number of years when he was a Fleet Street Journalist.

Ron retired to Reigate in Surrey in 1999, where he spent the last 10 years of his life. He continued to pursue his passion for photography and leaves behind a marvellous legacy of pictures from his travels around the World during his career as well as many wonderful pictures of his own family.

Ron leaves his wife Diana, three daughters Joanna, Lucilla and Samantha and two Grandsons Elliot and Cameron.

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