Esmond Harmsworth, 2nd Viscount Rothermere

Esmond Harmsworth, 2nd Viscount Rothermere

Esmond Cecil Harmsworth, 2nd Viscount Rothermere (29 May 1898 – 12 July 1978) was a British Conservative politician and press magnate.

Harmsworth's father, Harold Sydney Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Rothermere, had been the financial wizard behind the creation of the "Daily Mail" in partnership with his brother Alfred Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe.

Esmond was educated at Eton College and commissioned into the Royal Marine Artillery. He served as Aide-de-Camp to the Prime Minister at the Paris Peace Conference. In 1919, he was elected Member of Parliament for the Isle of Thanet, one of the youngest MPs ever. He served until 1929.

After 1922, the DMGT company was created to control the newspapers that Lord Rothermere retained after Lord Northcliffe's death ("The Times", for example, was sold). As his father dabbled in association with the Nazis and a flirtation with becoming King of Hungary, it fell to Esmond Harmsworth to manage the businesses.

He was the chairman of Associated Newspapers from 1932 to 1971, after which he assumed the titles of President and Director of Group Finance, and chairman of Daily Mail & General Trust Ltd., the parent company, from 1938 until his death.

Harmsworth ran the businesses with sufficient skill that they remain firmly under family control today, majority ownership being voted by his grandson, the 4th Viscount Rothermere, and a significant minority by Vyvyan Harmsworth, the 2nd Viscount's son by his third marriage. Never as flamboyant as his father or his son, he wielded his power on Fleet Street alongside other press lords whose families have all relinquished control of their holdings today.

Harmsworth also had a significant impact on the development of Memorial University of Newfoundland. The University's first residence in Paton College, known as [ Rothermere House] , is named after the Viscount. Harmsworth was the first Chancellor of Memorial University and the benefactor who provided the funds to construct Rothermere House.

Harmsworth became 2nd Viscount Rothermere in 1940. He married three times and had four children. He was succeeded by his son, Vere Harold Esmond Harmsworth.

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