Alfred Charles William Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe

public profile

Is your surname Harmsworth?

Research the Harmsworth family

Alfred Charles William Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Share

About Alfred Charles William Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe

Alfred Charles William Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe (15 July 1865 – 14 August 1922) was a British newspaper and publishing magnate. As owner of the Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror, he was a pioneer of popular journalism, and he exercised vast influence over British popular opinion in the Edwardian era. Lord Beaverbrook said he was "the greatest figure who ever strode down Fleet Street." The turn of the century saw the rise of popular journalism aimed at the working class and tending to emphasize sensational topics. Harmsworth was the chief innovator. P. P. Catterall and Colin Seymour-Ure conclude that:

More than anyone [he] ... shaped the modern press. Developments he introduced or harnessed remain central: broad contents, exploitation of advertising revenue to subsidize prices, aggressive marketing, subordinate regional markets, independence from party control.

Northcliffe played a powerful role in the First World War, especially in attacking the government in the Shell Crisis of 1915. He headed the mission to the new ally, the United States, in 1917, and was director of enemy propaganda in 1918.

His Amalgamated Press employed writers such as Arthur Mee and John Hammerton, and its subsidiary, the Educational Book Company, published The Harmsworth Self-Educator, The Children's Encyclopædia, and Harmsworth's Universal Encyclopaedia.

view all

Alfred Charles William Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe's Timeline

1865
July 15, 1865
1882
July 15, 1882
Age 17
1922
August 14, 1922
Age 57