Frank Johnson (journalist)

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For other people of the same name, see Frank Johnson (disambiguation).
Frank Johnson
Born Frank Robert Johnson
20 January 1943
Died 15 December 2006
Notable credit(s) The Spectator
The Daily Telegraph
Spouse(s) Virginia Fraser

Frank Robert Johnson (20 January 1943 – 15 December 2006) was an English journalist.


Johnson failed his Eleven Plus examination, and was educated at a state secondary school in Shoreditch in East London, which he left at the age of 16. Unlike many senior journalists of his time, he did not have a background in further or higher education, and instead, had taken a job as a 'messenger' on a national newspaper.[1]


Early career[edit]

He was a junior reporter at the North West Evening Mail in Barrow-in-Furness from 1965 to 1966. One of the duties of news staff was to cover sport, which was an unwelcome intrusion into the weekend. Johnson once reported the score of a Barrow Rugby League match inaccurately and was criticised by his editor on the Monday morning. However, he never had to cover sport again.

Later career[edit]

He was the editor of the conservative Spectator magazine from 1995 to 1999 and was a popular columnist for The Daily Telegraph. He had a particular reputation for his work as a parliamentary sketch writer, as which he was regarded by many as one of the most incisive and amusing commentators of his generation.

Personal life[edit]

He married Virginia Fraser, the widow of Simon Fraser, Master of Lovat, in 1998 who survives him. He died after a seven-year fight against cancer.[2]

Media offices
Preceded by
Deputy Editor of the Sunday Telegraph
Succeeded by
Kim Fletcher
Preceded by
Dominic Lawson
Editor of The Spectator
Succeeded by
Boris Johnson


  1. ^ Frank Johnson - Obituary The Independent newspaper. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
  2. ^ Frank Johnson dies