Former newspaper editor Charles Wilson dies aged 87

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Former newspaper editor Charles Wilson has died aged 87, family friends have confirmed.

The journalist and newspaper editor died on Wednesday evening at the London Clinic following a short illness.

Born in Glasgow, Mr Wilson first worked for the News Chronicle and the Daily Mail.

In 1976 he became editor of the Glasgow Evening Times before a short period as editor of The Herald while preparing to launch the Scottish Sunday Standard.

He was associate editor of The Times from 1982 to 1985 before becoming editor between 1985 and 1990.

He also briefly edited The Independent in 1995 and 1996.

Mr Wilson was chief executive of the Mirror Group in the 1990s and editor of The Sporting Life.

He had a lifelong interest in horse racing and was a member of the Jockey Club and an owner and breeder at his home in Leicestershire.

Former sportswriter Tom Clarke was among those who paid tribute.

He said: “Charlie was a special hero to me. He hired me for The Times and later for The Sporting Life.

“I thought of him as a great editor, transforming The Times from a landmark newspaper into a go-to, news-ready newspaper. He was the first sportswriter to become an editor.

His friend and colleague Charles Garside said: “Charlie Wilson played a central role in the history of newspapers before and after Wapping.

“He’s had a simply amazing career for a young man who started life on the streets of east Glasgow.

“A former marine boxing champion, he was a tough guy who loved journalism and newspapers.

“And he had more than a seat at ringside for so many big events.

“He worked closely with Rupert Murdoch during the Battles of Wapping and for Maxwell when the Mirror tycoon disappeared from Lady Ghislaine.”

Mr Wilson is survived by his wife of 21 years, Rachel, his three children, Emma, ​​Luke and Lily and seven grandchildren.

He was previously married to TV presenter and presenter Anne Robinson and journalist Sally O’Sullivan.

There will be a private family funeral followed by a memorial service at St Bride’s Church on Fleet Street on a date to be announced.

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