Reg Cudlipp

Second of the three newspaper-editing brothers

Reg Cudlipp was the last survivor of three Welsh brothers who, uniquely, all edited national newspapers. By 1953, when he became editor of the
News of the World, his elder brother, Percy, had already edited the London
Evening Standard and the
Daily Herald, while the younger, Hugh (later Lord Cudlipp), had been editor of the
Sunday Pictorial and would go on to control all the Mirror Group newspapers. Percy died in 1962 and Hugh in 1998. With the death last year of Percy's son Michael - formerly an executive with
The Times - the Cudlipp newspaper dynasty is at an end.

Reginald Cudlipp, journalist: born Cardiff 11 December 1910; staff, News of the World 1938-40, 1946-59, Features Editor 1948-50, Deputy Editor 1950-53, Editor 1953-59; Director, Anglo-Japanese Economic Institute 1961-86; Editor, Japan 1961-86; married 1945 Rachel Braham; died Chichester, West Sussex 21 January 2005.

Reg Cudlipp was the last survivor of three Welsh brothers who, uniquely, all edited national newspapers. By 1953, when he became editor of the News of the World, his elder brother, Percy, had already edited the London Evening Standard and the Daily Herald, while the younger, Hugh (later Lord Cudlipp), had been editor of the Sunday Pictorial and would go on to control all the Mirror Group newspapers. Percy died in 1962 and Hugh in 1998. With the death last year of Percy's son Michael - formerly an executive with The Times - the Cudlipp newspaper dynasty is at an end.

The three brothers were born and grew up in Cardiff. Their father was a commercial traveller, selling provisions to grocers' shops, and it was Percy who set the career pattern for the other two. All three started out on the weekly Penarth News. Reg progressed from being chief reporter there to a sub-editor on the Western Mail, the Cardiff-based daily. In 1938 he moved to London as a sub-editor on the News of the World.

Conscripted into the Army during the Second World War, he rose to the rank of captain. For a time he was based in Calcutta, editing a magazine for British troops in the region. When he returned to the News of the World after demobilisation, he was appointed its New York correspondent, spending two years there on what was in effect an extended honeymoon. He was called back to London in 1948 and began his ascent of the executive ladder until Sir William Carr, the paper's proprietor, appointed him editor in 1953.

At that time the News of the World was at the peak of its success, selling a phenomenal eight million copies every Sunday - more than any other British paper before or since. Its speciality was sex scandals, a field which in those days it had almost to itself. These were not comparable with today's tales of indiscretions by the rich and famous, but tended to involve everyday people leading deceptively blameless lives. The staple cast of characters included vicars with restless hands who took an unhealthy interest in young choirboys, and prim housewives who sold favours behind the freshly painted doors of their neat semi-detached houses.

By today's standards, the tone of the reporting was excessively coy, relying on coded phrases such as: "He used certain words and made certain suggestions." In an interview with the British Journalism Review in 2002, Cudlipp recalled: "We'd have one page for the dirtiest cases of the week, although they wouldn't raise an eyebrow these days." All this was supported by serialisations of marginally risqué romantic novels.

The paper's vast circulation could not be sustained and, after Cudlipp had been in the chair for six years, it had fallen to six and a half million - still an impressive and profitable figure but not one that satisfied the proprietor. In December 1959 Cudlipp was dismissed and replaced by Stafford Somerfield, who oversaw a further fall but was still the editor when Rupert Murdoch bought the paper in 1969.

Career options for sacked editors are limited, but in 1961, at the age of 50, he was appointed Director of the Anglo-Japanese Economic Institute and editor of its quarterly journal, Japan. He took up this new challenge with tremendous enthusiasm, visiting Japan frequently. In 1982 the Japanese government rewarded his commitment by decorating him with the Order of the Sacred Treasure - the first Englishman to be so honoured.

Four years later, at the age of 75, he retired from the institute (having completed, he recorded proudly, 60 years in journalism) but he continued to take a close interest in Japan, in particular in its relations with the developing world, and wrote prolifically and authoritatively on the subject, from his West Sussex home, well into his eighties.

Michael Leapman

Life and Style
health

Do you qualify – and how do you get it?

News
Food blogger and Guardian writer Jack Monroe with her young son
people
News
i100
News
Privately schooled, Oxford educated and a former editor of arguably the world's poshest magazine 'The Lady', it's perhaps unsurprising that Rachel Johnson rarely mixes with ordinary Proles.
people

The Mayor of London's sister, Rachel Johnson, apologises for shocking tweet about the PM

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Environment
The plant ‘Nepenthes zygon’ was donated to Kew in 2004
environmentNepenthes zygon had been growing for almost a decade and helping to keep down cockroaches
News
This artist impression shows a modern-day Atlantis
news
Arts and Entertainment
booksPhotographer snapped celebrities for 40 years - but it wasn’t all fun and games
News
i100
Sport
Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
footballManchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2: Argentine's late hat-rick sees home side snatch vital victory
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior SEO / Content Executive

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Junior SEO/ORM Content Execut...

Recruitment Genius: Search Account Manager

£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive

£25000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is an acknowledged...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Central London, Bank

£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A truly exciting opportunity has ari...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital