Cecil Harmsworth King

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Cecil Harmsworth King
Born (1901-02-20)20 February 1901
Died 17 April 1987(1987-04-17) (aged 86)
Nationality British
Education Winchester College
Christ Church, Oxford
Occupation Publisher
Spouse(s) Dame Ruth Railton
Parents Sir Lucas White King & Geraldine née Harmsworth

Cecil Harmsworth King (20 February 1901 – 17 April 1987) was chairman of Daily Mirror Newspapers, Sunday Pictorial Newspapers and the International Publishing Corporation (1963–68), and a director at the Bank of England (1965–68).

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Cecil Harmsworth King was born on 20 February 1901. He came on his father's side from a Protestant Irish family, and was brought up in Ireland. His father was Sir Lucas White King, Professor of Oriental Languages at Trinity College, Dublin and his mother was Geraldine née Harmsworth, daughter of Alfred Harmsworth, a barrister, and sister of the mass-circulation newspaper proprietors Alfred Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe and Harold Sidney Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Rothermere.

He was educated at Winchester College and Christ Church, Oxford. According to Geoffrey Goodman: "He believed he was born to rule, an image of himself which never departed."[1]

Career[edit]

In 1937, he was an advertising director of one of his uncle's papers when he formed a partnership with journalist Hugh Cudlipp. When he was made a senior director, he chose Cudlipp as his new editor. At the age of 23, Cudlipp became the youngest chief editor in Fleet Street. Between them, both men turned The Daily Mirror into the world's largest selling daily newspaper. In 1967, the Daily Mirror's circulation reached a world record of 5,282,137 copies. By 1963, King was chairman of the International Publishing Corporation (IPC), then the biggest publishing empire in the world, which included the Daily Mirror and some two hundred other papers and magazines (1963-1968).

His influence in British public life was enormous. He himself believed that criticism of Winston Churchill's government by the Mirror, had caused that government's collapse after the war.[citation needed] He was involved in, and probably instigated, a bizarre 1968 meeting with Louis Mountbatten, among others, in which he proposed that Harold Wilson's government be overthrown and replaced with a temporary administration headed by Mountbatten. He had no support from them for this, so he decided to override the Editorial independence of the Mirror and wrote and instructed to be published a front page article calling on Wilson to be removed by some sort of extra parliamentary action. As Chairman of the IPC the Board met and demanded his resignation for this breach of procedure and damaging the interests of IPC as a public company. He refused, so was dismissed by the Board on 30 May.

Personal life[edit]

He was married to Dame Ruth Railton, the founder of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Geoffrey Goodman "The two men who gave news to the proletariat", Camden New Journal, 4 November 2004

See also[edit]

Harmsworth Popular Science