A journalist who went from copy boy at his local newspaper to a director who helped launch the Daily Star has died aged 82.
He wrote several books on the industry including The Encyclopedia of the British Press 1422-1992 which is still considered an invaluable source for media academics.
Dennis, who died on Christmas Eve, also served as chairman of the London Press Club from 1999 to 2002.
Born in Mount Pleasant, Swansea, Dennis was the son of the Evening Post’s racing correspondent Milton Griffiths.
After leaving school aged 15, his father helped him get a job on the newspaper.
He later moved on to the Evening Standard where, in 1969, he pre-printed a mock-up of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon 24 hours ahead of the Apollo landing, thereby scooping the paper’s rivals when the historic moment came.
When the Standard was taken over by Associated Newspapers, he remained with Express Newspapers as production and research and development director, in which roles he helped to launch the Daily Star in 1978.
Current London Press Club chairman Doug Wills said: “Dennis was a significant and influential figure in the Press Club for many years both as a director and as chairman, as well as being a senior executive in Fleet Street at a time when the industry was at its most exciting.
“We enjoyed Dennis’s stories and benefitted from his experience. He shall be sorely missed.”
Dennis is survived by wife Elizabeth, daughter Jane, an actress who starred in Red Dwarf who is also a professor at Melbourne’s Monash University, son Mark, a journalist and botanist who won the 2015 British Society of Magazine Editors’ scoop of the year award for an article in Country Life in which he revealed the only known portrait of Shakespeare drawn in his lifetime, and granddaughters Eliza and Tilly.