W.F. Deedes has died at the age of 94. He was a great humanitarian, journalist and politician. The world is a sadder and poorer place without him. A few weeks ago, I referred to what was to prove to be his final piece for The Daily Telegraph and I refer to that newspaper now, for the account of his death.
Here are just a few of the early tributes to him:
Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, said: “Britain owes a huge debt of gratitude to the patriotism and public service given by Bill Deedes. He started writing as a professional journalist more than 78 years ago and few have served journalism and the British public for so long at such a high level of distinction, and with such a popular following.
“While he was an MP and also a Cabinet minister he will be remembered most as an outstanding and long serving editor of The Daily Telegraph and then a much read columnist. You could agree or disagree with his views but like so many others I found his writing fair minded, informed, and enlightening. Such was his commitment to public service that at the age of 85 he became an ambassador for Unicef - a post he also held with great distinction."
Murdoch MacLennan, Chief Executive of Telegraph Media Group, said: “The sun has set on a remarkable life, lived very much for the benefit of others.
"Bill Deedes’ journalism enriched all those who read it; his selfless humanity touched us; his good humour and courage – even to the very end – inspired us. For all those in newspapers, it is difficult to imagine life without him.”