25 Facts About Lord Northcliffe


Alfred Charles William Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Lord Northcliffe, was a British newspaper and publishing magnate.

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Lord Northcliffe had a powerful role during the First World War, especially by criticizing the government regarding the Shell Crisis of 1915.

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Lord Northcliffe directed a mission to the new ally, the United States, during 1917, and was director of enemy propaganda during 1918.

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Lord Northcliffe's Amalgamated Press employed writers such as Arthur Mee and John Hammerton, and its subsidiary, the Educational Book Company, published The Harmsworth Self-Educator, The Children's Encyclopædia, and Harmsworth's Universal Encyclopaedia.

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Lord Northcliffe bought several failing newspapers and made them into an enormously profitable news group, primarily by appealing to the general public.

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Lord Northcliffe began with The Evening News during 1894, and then merged two Edinburgh papers to form the Edinburgh Daily Record.

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Prime Minister Robert Cecil, Lord Northcliffe Salisbury, said it was "written by office boys for office boys".

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Lord Northcliffe initiated the Harmsworth Magazine, utilizing one of Britain's best editors, Beckles Willson, who had been editor of many successful publications, including The Graphic.

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Lord Northcliffe brought his younger brothers into his media empire, and they all flourished: Harold Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Rothermere, Cecil Harmsworth, 1st Baron Harmsworth, Sir Leicester Harmsworth, 1st Baronet and Sir Hildebrand Harmsworth, 1st Baronet.

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Lord Northcliffe had four acknowledged children by two different women.

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That meant that in an era before radio, television or internet, Lord Northcliffe dominated the British press "as it never has been before or since by one man".

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Northcliffe's editorship of the Daily Mail in the years just before the First World War in which the newspaper displayed "a virulent anti-German sentiment" caused The Star to declare, "Next to the Kaiser, Lord Northcliffe has done more than any living man to bring about the war".

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Lord Northcliffe's enemies accused him of power without responsibility, but his papers were a factor in settling the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1921, and his mission to the United States, from June through to October 1917, has been judged successful by historians.

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Lord Northcliffe was monolingual and not well-educated and knew little history or science.

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Lord Northcliffe had a lust for power and for money, while leaving the accounting paperwork to his brother Harold.

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Lord Northcliffe imagined himself Napoleon reborn and resembled the emperor physically and in terms of his enormous energy and ambition.

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Lord Northcliffe's health declined during 1921 due mainly to a streptococcal infection.

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Lord Northcliffe's mental health collapsed; he acted like a madman but historians say it was a physical malady.

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Lord Northcliffe went on a world tour to revive himself, but it failed to do so.

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Lord Northcliffe died of endocarditis in his London house, No 1 Carlton House Gardens, on 14 August 1922.

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Lord Northcliffe left three months' pay to each of his six thousand employees.

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Lord Northcliffe's body was buried at East Finchley Cemetery in North London.

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Lord Northcliffe's drive for success and respectability bounded main outlet in the commercial world of journalism, not the political world the parties and parliaments.

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Lord Northcliffe aspired to power instead of influence, and as a result forfeited both.

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Lord Northcliffe lived for a time at 31 Pandora Road, West Hampstead; this site is marked with an English Heritage blue plaque.

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