Norman Sharpe Cursley 1898 - 1972

Norman Sharpe Cursley 1898 -1972 Obituary, The Times, Thursday May 4th 1972


Mr Norman Sharpe Cursley, who was the last editor of the News Chronicle, died yesterday. He was 74.

The irony of Norman Cursley's career was that he was a provincial journalist of the old school who had a Fleet Street editorship thrust upon him almost against his will. A man of considerable experience but modest ambition, he had been happy as the news editor of the northern edition of theNews Chronicle in Manchester where he had enjoyed the leisured pace and warm regional social life with his wife Nelly.

It was with reluctance that he moved to London to take over the news desk when Robin Cruikshank became editor of the paper. He became assistant editor in 1951 - an appointment that called for his talents as a coordinator.

Cursley was summoned in 1958 after Lawrence Cadbury's unsuccessful search for an outside editor to restore the paper's dwindling circulation. Cursley, despite his professional record, was not some thought, of the calibre that could have revived the paper. For many his appointment heralded the end.

Two years later it was Norman Cursley's painful task to tell his staff 'tomorrow the News Chronicle will be merged with the Daily Mail'. It was also Norman Cursley's last day as a journalist, but as many of his old staff remember with gratitude he devoted all his time in the months that followed to finding jobs for his colleagues.

Cursley was born on April 13. 1898, and educated at Newark School, Leicester. he became a reporter on the Leicester Daily Mercury in 1921, and a special writer on The Globe in 1922. In 1923 he went to the Daily Sketch and from 1924 to 1928 he was a reporter and news editor of the Westminster Gazette.

He Married in 1922 Alice Nelly Hill (who died this year) and they had one son and one daughter.

The Times Thursday May 4th 1972







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