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Lord Beaverbrook: the press baron of Fleet Street

Posted by: | November 27, 2012 | No Comment |

Max Aitken, 1st Lord Beaverbrook (1879-1964), was a Canadian politician, businessman, and most significantly, a publisher. At the height of his career, Lord Beaverbrook was the most influential voice in the British press.

Beaverbrook’s papers had millions of readers, the most successful of which was the Daily Express, which sold 4,300,000 copies in 1960, more than any other paper in Great Britain.

Lord Beaverbrook, George Metcalf collection

Always a patriot, Beaverbrook was a member of the British cabinet during both World Wars, and used his papers to extend the war effort.

Taking his patriotic duties seriously, he also helped orchestrate the consensus of the British press during Edward VIII’s abdication crisis in 1936, ultimately breaking his own rule and reporting the entire story when the king did eventually abdicate.

Lord Beaverbrook represented the height of journalistic power in Great Britain. Hailed as the unchallenged “Press Baron of Fleet Street,” it was said that he could make or break any man.

under: Comm 455
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