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Wendy Henry is a former journalist and newspaper editor.


Early life

Wendy moved with her twin sister Sara from her mother's house in St Annes on Sea to Manchester in the late 1960s to live with their father, a Jewish market trader.[1][2] By the age of eighteen, she had a child.[2]

In their youth, Henry and her sister were active socialists, joining the International Socialists[3][4] and later the International-Communist League. In 1972, she was given an absolute discharge after being accused of attempting to throw a carton of milk at Edward Heath when he visited Salford.[5] Her involvement in radical activism at the University of Manchester was spotted by Brian Whittle, Brian Taylor and Peter Reece, who took her on at the Manchester News Service.[6]

Career in journalism

In the 1970s, Henry had a six month trial with the Daily Mail, but was not given a permanent position at the end of the trial. She worked as a freelance before joining the features department of the News of the World, then became features editor of Woman. She then became series editor of The Sun, followed by a stint as woman's editor, then assistant editor (features).[7] According to Roy Greenslade, during the Falklands War, when she heard that the General Belgrano had been sunk, she joked "Gotcha!", which was used by editor Kelvin MacKenzie as a famous Sun headline.[8] In 1983, she was suspended for two weeks after fabricating an interview with Falklands veteran Simon Weston.[9] She was the first journalist to report that Princess Margaret was having a relationship with Roddy Llewellyn.[1]

Newspaper editor

Henry was then promoted to editor of the News of the World's Sunday magazine,[7] before being appointed editor of the newspaper in 1987.[10] Although often described as the first female Fleet Street editor, she was preceded by Delarivier Manley, Rachel Beer and Mary Howarth.[11]

In 1988, Henry moved to become editor of the Sunday People,[10] where she was able to have more input into the leading articles.[12] While there, she became known for publishing controversial pictures, including victims of the Sioux City air crash, an ailing Sammy Davis Jr and a seven-year-old Prince William urinating in public.[13] Following the publication of the last two photographs (especially the Prince William one[14][15]), she was fired. In 1990 she moved to the United States to become editor of The Globe.[10]

Later career

In the mid-1990s, she produced A Current Affair on Fox. She then edited the "Spotlight" supplement of the New York Daily News from its launch,[7] then edited Successful Slimming before returning to London to launch a British edition.[16] She next worked for Parkhill Publishing alongside Eve Pollard,[7] and spent a year editing Real Homes.[16]

Henry became Press Officer for Battersea Dogs Home in 1997,[10] and was later secretary to several committees at the centre. In 2002, she began working for them as a full-time dog re-socialiser.[7] In 2004, she joined noSWeat journalism training as a "Professor of Anecdotes".[17]


  1. ^ a b Richard Brooks, "Wapping editor is closet book-worm", The Observer, 5 June 1987
  2. ^ a b Stanley Reynolds, "Curtains for a freak show", The Guardian, 21 November 1989
  3. ^ John Sullivan, "As Soon As This Pub Closes...", What Next?
  4. ^ "Wendy calling, folks", The Guardian, 2 July 1987
  5. ^ "Woman who threw milk discharged", The Guardian, 15 April 1972
  6. ^ Peter Reece, "Brian Whittle", Press Gazette, 16 December 2005
  7. ^ a b c d e Jean Morgan, "It's a dog's life from now on for newshound Henry", Press Gazette, 25 January 2002
  8. ^ Roy Greenslade, "A new Britain, a new kind of newspaper", The Guardian, 25 February 2002
  9. ^ Alan Rusbridger, "Diary", The Guardian, 15 June 1985
  10. ^ a b c d "Inside Story: The ex-editors' files", The Independent, 9 May 2005
  11. ^ "Ladies of the press", The Guardian, 16 June 2005
  12. ^ Nicholas Davis, "The Unknown Maxwell", p.47
  13. ^ Bill Hagerty, "The future is not Rosie", New Statesman, 11 December 2000
  14. ^,9171,959315,00.html
  15. ^
  16. ^ a b Phillippa Kennedy, "Henry steps aside from Real Homes for internet project", Press Gazette, 3 August 2001
  17. ^ "New professor at London journalism training centre", Press Gazette, 30 January 2004
Media offices
Preceded by
David Montgomery
Editor of the News of the World
Succeeded by
Patsy Chapman
Preceded by
John Blake
Editor of the Sunday People
Succeeded by
Ernie Burrington
Preceded by
Editor of The Globe
Succeeded by


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