Hannen Swaffer

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Frederick Charles Hannen Swaffer (1 November 1879 – 16 January 1962) was a British journalist and drama critic.

Swaffer was educated at Stroud Green Grammar School, Kent.

He joined the Daily Mail in 1902. He was editor of Weekly Dispatch and helped develop the Daily Mirror into a popular newspaper. In 1913, he initiated "Mr Gossip" for the Daily Sketch. He also started "Mr London" for the Daily Graphic. He was editor of The People and in 1926, became drama critic of the Daily Express. He joined the Daily Herald in 1931.

In the 1930s Swaffer led a spiritualist home circle, following the teachings of the native-American spirit "Silver Birch", which were published by A. W. Austen in 1938.[1] He was an editor for the Psychic News.

Hannen Swaffer was a socialist, but resigned from the Labour Party in 1957. He also became a spiritualist. He is said to have written almost a million words each year. His publications included Northcliffe's Return (1925), Really Behind the Scenes (1929), Hannen Swaffer's Who's Who (1929), Adventures with Inspiration (1929), When Men Talk Truth (1934), My Greatest Story (1945) and What Would Nelson Do? (1946).

Swaffer appeared in the films Death at Broadcasting House (1934), Late Extra (1935) and Spellbound (1941). He also appeared on The Brains Trust programme. He died in London, England.

The British Press Awards were originally named after Swaffer.[2]


  1. ^ A. W. Austen The Teachings of Silver Birch London: The Spiritualist Press, 1938
  2. ^ "A matter of honours". British Journalism Review. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 


External links[edit]


  • Tom Driberg, Swaff: Life and Times of Hannen Swaffer. Macdonald, 1974. ISBN 0-356-04369-X.
Media offices
Preceded by
Montagu Cotton
Editor of the Weekly Dispatch
Succeeded by
Bernard Falk
Preceded by
Robert Donald
Editor of the The People
Succeeded by
Harry Ainsworth