Jonathan Harmsworth, 4th Viscount Rothermere

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The Viscount Rothermere
Born (1967-12-03) 3 December 1967 (age 51)
EducationGordonstoun School
Alma materDuke University
Net worthUS$1.19 billion (August 2017)[1]
TitleViscount Rothermere
Baron Rothermere
Baronet of Horsey
Spouse(s)Claudia Caroline Clemence
Parent(s)Vere, Viscount Rothermere and Patricia Evelyn Beverley Matthews

Jonathan Harold Esmond Vere Harmsworth, 4th Viscount Rothermere (born 3 December 1967) is a British viscount and inheritor of a newspaper and media empire founded by his great-grandfather Harold Sidney Harmsworth. He is chairman of DMG Media, formerly Associated Newspapers, a media conglomerate which includes the Daily Mail.

Early life and career[edit]

Rothermere was educated at Gordonstoun School and Duke University.[2]

Harmsworth held various positions in Associated Newspapers and was managing director of the Evening Standard, when the sudden death of his father in 1998 resulted in his becoming the controlling shareholder[3] and chairman of Associated and of its parent Daily Mail and General Trust just before his 31st birthday. One change he has instituted since becoming chairman is requiring directors to retire at age 75.

In 2013, Private Eye reported that Viscount Rothermere falsely claims non-dom status, in order to avoid paying tax on his stately home, Ferne House. This move saves him several millions of pounds in tax annually.[4]

He was a supporter of the former Conservative Party leader David Cameron.[5]

He ranked fourth in the Publishing, Advertising, and PR section of the Sunday Times Rich List 2013 with an estimated wealth of £720 million.[6] In April 2015, the Sunday Times estimated his net worth at £1 billion[7] He has non-domicile tax status and owns his media businesses through a complex structure of offshore holdings and trusts.[8]

The BBC's Newsnight programme at the end of January 2017 reported that former prime minister David Cameron had approached Lord Rothermere to sack Eurosceptic Paul Dacre, the editor of the Daily Mail in the run up to the 2016 EU membership referendum.[9] A representative of Lord Rothermere refused to confirm or deny the story, although a spokesman for Cameron confirmed that he had tried to persuade both Dacre and Rothermere over the vote. Rothermere's representative told the media: "Over the years, Lord Rothermere has been leant on by more than one prime minister to remove Associated Newspapers’ editors but, as he told Lord Justice Leveson on oath, he does not interfere with the editorial policies of his papers".[10]

Lord Rothermere chairs the Imperial War Museum foundation, following the tradition set by his great grandfather, the first Viscount. [11]

Personal life[edit]

Rothermere married Claudia DeVriese, daughter of Terence J. Clemence, on 15 July 1993.[2] They have five children:[12]

  • The Honourable Vere Richard Jonathan Harold Harmsworth (b. 1994)
  • The Honourable Eleanor Patricia Margaret Harmsworth (b. 1996)
  • The Honourable Theodora Mairi Ferne Harmsworth (b. 2001)
  • The Honourable Iris Geraldine Lilian Harmsworth (b. 2004)
  • The Honourable Alfred Northcliffe St. John Harmsworth (b. 2010)

In 2002, The Guardian reported that Rothermere had fathered another son from a relationship prior to his marriage.[13] Rothermere confirmed this in his testimony to the Leveson Inquiry.[14]




  1. ^ "Jonathan Harmsworth". Forbes. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Person Page 7348". 7 May 2011. Archived from the original on 3 November 2013. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  3. ^ "Rothermere: 'DMGT remains committed to journalism'". Press Gazette. 21 January 2009. Archived from the original on 7 September 2012.
  4. ^ "Private Eye Street Of Shame: Rothermere's patriot games". 2013-10-21. Archived from the original on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 2016-10-10.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  5. ^ Vervier, Catherine (20 July 2008). "The end of the affair: Dacre moves towards Cameron". The Independent. Archived from the original on 6 October 2013. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  6. ^ Mark Sweney (19 April 2013). "Barclay brothers named richest media figures in UK with £2.3bn fortune". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 5 November 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  7. ^ "Sunday Times Rich List". The Sunday Times (page 34). 26 April 2014.
  8. ^ Private Eye. "Rothermere's patriot games". Archived from the original on 21 October 2013.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  9. ^ Ponsford, Dominic (1 February 2017). "BBC: David Cameron tried to get Paul Dacre sacked as Daily Mail editor because of his Eurosceptic stance". Press Gazette. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  10. ^ Walker, Peter (1 February 2017). "David Cameron 'asked Daily Mail owner to sack Paul Dacre over Brexit'". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  11. ^ "Plaque - Harmsworth - IWM". London Remembers.
  12. ^ "Person Page".
  13. ^ Roy Greenslade (22 July 2002). "Seconds out, round two". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 3 October 2013. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  14. ^ "Statement by Lord Justice Leveson". Archived from the original on 22 January 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2014.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)

External links[edit]

Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Vere Harold Esmond Harmsworth
Viscount Rothermere