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Editor who spent 13 years in charge of regional daily dies aged 89

Don SimpsonAn editor who spent 13 years at the helm of a regional daily and once insisted on reporting on his own speeding caution has died aged 89.

Tributes have been paid to Don Simpson, who edited the East Anglian Daily Times between 1968 and 1981.

Don’s career in journalism saw him interview royalty and cover some of the most important issues of the time, including the great East Coast flood of 1953.

He was also invited to Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, when the EADT was the only daily paper in the country to support Ian Smith and the Rhodesian government’s unilateral declaration of independence.

Described by his family as a “deeply principled man”, he once insisted on covering his own speeding caution in the Ipswich-based newspaper.

Born in Plymouth, Don began his career in journalism after leaving the army, where he served in the Royal Signals, in 1948.

His daughter Amy Quinn, 59, told the EADT: “He really enjoyed journalism and the varied life it gave him. He always treated people with respect, regardless of who they were or where they came from and taught me to do the same.

“He kept his politics to himself and would never tell me who he had voted for. He would always say, ‘It’s a private ballot’. But he certainly had his own ideas, and took me to see the x-rated Bonnie and Clyde when I was much younger than 18 and bought me beer from pubs aged 13 onwards.

“He also had a particularly dry sense of humour, which I suppose is a necessary part of any journalist’s spec. He enjoyed a very interesting and varied life.”

After working in Hampshire, Don moved to the Eastern Daily Press where he was based in Swaffham, Sheringham and Norwich.

He took over the EADT reins from Ralph Wilson in 1968 and was in charge during the paper’s centenary celebrations of 1974.

Don was married for 66 years to Margaret, who passed away last year, and is survived by Amy, 61-year-old son Oliver, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.


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  • November 6, 2017 at 9:56 am

    A real old school ‘proper’ local newspaper editor with standards,principals and ethical values qualities which are qualities lacking in so many today

    RIP Don

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  • November 6, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    Reminds me of the chief reporter I worked for in Surrey. Always had a rose buttonhole in his suit and cycled everywhere. Taught me a lot which helped me a great deal when I eventually got to Fleet Street a few years later.

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