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Sir Gordon Linacre
Photograph courtesy of the Yorkshire Post

Sir Gordon Linacre, CBE, AFC, DFM, LLD

Colleagues will be sorry to learn of the death of Sir Gordon Linacre, a longstanding friend of the University, honorary graduate, and former member of the Court and the Council.

Born in Sheffield in 1921, it was Sir Gordon’s ambition from a very young age to become a journalist. He left school to work at the Sheffield Independent as a reporter at 17, then joined the RAF at the outbreak of World War Two and became a bomber pilot. He was awarded both the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and the Air Force Cross (AFC), leaving the RAF in 1946 (as a squadron leader) to return to journalism.

He became editor of the Sheffield Star in 1958 and then executive director of Thomson Regional Newspapers in 1963. In April 1965 he arrived in Leeds as the newly appointed managing director of Yorkshire Conservative Newspapers, the owners of the Yorkshire Post and the Yorkshire Evening Post. In 1979 Sir Gordon was awarded the CBE for his contribution to journalism. In 1983, following a merger with United Newspapers, he became the chief executive, as well as chairman of the regional newspaper division. He was made Knight Bachelor in the Queen’s Birthday Honours of 1986 and became the first president of Yorkshire Post Newspapers in 1990.

During his long career with the Yorkshire Post group, Sir Gordon was also extremely active in the Newspaper Society and as a benefactor of the arts and education. He served, for example, as a director of English National Opera and chairman of Opera North and was from 1985 to 1992 a valued member of the University Council, and from 1985 to 2000 a member and staunch supporter of the University Court. In 1991 the University recognised his contribution to journalism and the support of the arts and education with the award of an Honorary Degree, LLD.

Sir Gordon was an energetic and highly focused man, who was generous with his time and his support, and who made an invaluable contribution to the life of the University over many years, lending his expertise, his wide experience and his very practical and sage advice. He was highly active, enjoying golf, fly fishing and hill walking in particular. He will be remembered with respect by all those who benefited from his association with the institution, and with great warmth for his wit and camaraderie.

Sir Gordon is survived by his two daughters, Anthea and Philippa.