"It is with deep regret that the Telegraph Media Group announces the death of Lord Deedes, who passed away this evening at his home in Aldington, Kent."Aidan Barclay, chairman of the Telegraph Media Group (TMG), said: "Bill Deedes was a giant among men, a towering figure in journalism, an icon in British politics and a humanitarian to his very core. "He was part of the fabric of The Telegraph. In his passing we have lost part of ourselves. We will not see his like again. Our thoughts are with his family and his legion of friends."
Murdoch MacLennan, TMG chief executive, said: "The sun has set on a remarkable life, lived very much for the benefit of others. Bill Deedes' journalism enriched all those who read it, his selfless humanity touched us, his good humour and courage - even to the very end - inspired us. For all those in newspapers, it is difficult to imagine life without him."
Daily Telegraph editor Will Lewis said: "It was a great honour and privilege to have worked with Bill Deedes. "He was a wonderful inspiration - both as an outstanding journalist and as a human being whose wealth of experience and charity work will be very sadly missed."
Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Britain owed a "huge debt of gratitude" for Lord Deedes' public service. "He started writing as a professional journalist more than 76 years ago and few have served journalism and the British people for so long at such a high level of distinction and with such a popular following. Mr Brown added: "An MP and also a Cabinet minister, he will be remembered most as an outstanding and long-serving editor of the Daily Telegraph, and then a much read columnist. "You could agree or disagree with his views, but like so many others I found his writing fair minded, informed, and enlightening. Such was his commitment to public service that at the age of 85 he became an ambassador for Unicef, a position he also held with great distinction."
David Cameron praised him as a one-off: "Bill was quite extraordinary: doing enough in his time to fill at least three lifetimes. Listening to him, whether about politics, journalism, or events on the other side of the world, he was always a source of both wisdom and entertainment. It's a cliche to say 'we will not look upon his like again', but I suspect with the passing of Bill it is true."
Baroness Thatcher, who had known him for more than 50 years, told the Telegraph tonight: "Bill was a dear friend who will be greatly missed. He had a uniquely distinguished career in politics and journalism. He managed to appeal to new generations just as effectively as he did to earlier ones. I am deeply sorry at his passing."
Friday, August 17, 2007
Bill Deedes: Perhaps the Greatest British Journalist of His Age
Very sad news. Bill Deedes has died. I can do not better than repeat what the Press Associationb are reporting tonight...