Melvyn Horrocks, 71, was based at the head office of The Bolton Evening News, from 1966 to 2000, where for much of the time he was news editor.
Earlier in his career he had a spell working as a reporter at the Bury office of the BEN.
He said: “Mel was an excellent journalist and great human being.
“I had the privilege of working with him as a reporter and then alongside him on the news desk, and his experience and knowledge was invaluable.
“I owe him a great deal and I would not have been editor of my home town newspaper without the support I received from him over the years.
“I know that he mentored many journalists who went on to bigger and better things. He will be sadly missed.”
Melvyn died after a long illness. He leaves his wife Janet and daughters Alison and Jillian.