Charles Vere Wintour, CBE (18 May 1917 – 4 November 1999) was a British newspaper editor and the father of editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine, Anna Wintour, and the Diplomatic Editor of The Guardian newspaper, Patrick Wintour. His claim to distinction was articulated by the Dictionary of National Biography in 2004: “Wintour's Evening Standard, with its blend of popular and serious news and opinion, prefigured the broadsheets of the 21st century.” Life and career Wintour was born in Pamphill
Pamphill Manor, near Wimborne, Dorset, the son of Alice Jane Blanche Foster and Major-General Fitzgerald Wintour. He wrote articles for the Radio Times
Radio Times while he was at Oundle School, and won a prize awarded by the Daily Mail. He completed his education at Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he studied English and history and briefly edited Granta
Granta with Eric Hobsbawm. After university, Wintour took a job in advertising, but left at the start of World War II
World War II to join the Royal Norfolk Regiment. During the war, he was awarded the military MBE, the Croix de Guerre
Croix de Guerre and the Bronze Star. In 1940 Wintour married Eleanor "Nonie" Trego Baker; the couple later divorced in 1979. In 1946, Wintour became a leader writer for the London Evening Standard. He was soon promoted to political editor, then moved to the Sunday Express as assistant editor. He returned to the Standard as deputy editor, during which period he convinced Lord Beaverbrook to launch the Evening Standard Awards for theatre in 1955. Wintour became managing editor of the Daily Express
Daily Express in 1958, then in 1959 moved back to the Standard as editor. During this period, he had five children, of whom two, Anna and Patrick, later became prominent journalists. Although circulation fell under Wintour's editorship, he was well regarded, and was considered for the post of editor of The Times
The Times in 1967. He was particularly passionate about the paper's politics and high-society gossip column, the Londoner's Diary, once remarking that: "To go to a decent London dinner party without having read the Diary would be to go out unprepared for proper conversation." Wintour remained editor until 1976, when he became managing director of the Daily Express, supervising its transition from broadsheet to tabloid. He took part in the negotiations to merge the London Evening Standard
Evening Standard with the Evening News, championing the case for keeping the staff and approach of the Standard. As a result, the proposed merger was called off. The Express Group was sold to Trafalgar House, and new owner Victor Matthews appointed Wintour editor of the Standard again in 1978. In 1979, Wintour joined the Press Council, serving for two years. In 1980, the Standard and the News were finally merged. While the name of the Standard was ultimately retained, Wintour and his senior executives were replaced by former News editor Louis Kirby and his respective executives. In 1981, Wintour launched the Sunday Express Magazine with new wife Audrey Slaughter, and in 1984 they launched Working Woman magazine. In 1985, Wintour became editor of the Press Gazette, and he advised on the launch of Today, The Independent
The Independent and the new Daily News, in addition to TV-am. He wrote two key books drawn from experience: Pressures on the Press in 1972, a candid account of decision-making during every hour of the newspaper day; and The Rise and Fall of Fleet Street in 1989, a shrewd analysis of Fleet Street as a publishing centre through those who were responsible for its historic rise and the more recent responses to new technology. Wintour retired in 1989 and spent his later years supporting the Liberal Democrats and chairing the regional National Art Collections Fund. Wintour’s impact on London theatre has been acknowledged by both major organisers of annual drama awards. When he retired in 1982 The Society of London Theatre paid tribute by giving him the Society of London Theatre Special
Special Award which would usually go to actors, directors and such. After death, his own Evening Standard
Evening Standard Theatre Awards added his name into one category, to create The Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright. Most significant of all, at his memorial wake, supervised in 1999 by his daughter Anna, the leading playwright Harold Pinter
Harold Pinter read from his own work and expressed gratitude for his play The Caretaker
The Caretaker winning the Best Play award in 1960, which saw his career lift off. References
^ "Wintour, Charles Vere". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography,
^ a b c d e f Michael Leapman, "Obituary: Charles Wintour", The
Independent, 5 November 1999.
^ a b Brian MacArthur, "Wintour, Charles Vere", Oxford Dictionary of
^ a b c Peter Preston, "Charles Wintour", The Guardian, 5 November
^ "Slaughter, Over 21 and Cosmopolitan". Magforum, 23 October 2013.
^ Wintour, Charles (1972). Pressures on the Press: An Editor Looks at
Fleet Street. Andre Deutsch: London. ISBN 0-233-96376-6.
^ Wintour, Charles (1989). The Rise and Fall of Fleet Street.
Hutchinson: London. ISBN 0-09-170920-2.
Preceded by John Junor Deputy Editor of the Evening Standard 1954–1959 Succeeded by Derek Marks
Preceded by Percy Elland Editor of the Evening Standard 1959–1976 Succeeded by Simon Jenkins
Preceded by Simon Jenkins Editor of the Evening Standard 1978–1980 Succeeded by Louis Kirby
v t e
Society of London Theatre
WorldCat Identities VIAF: 169440191 ISNI: 0000 0001 2408 5721 GND: 142311162 SUDO