Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 27 November 2014

Newspaper chief Henderson dies

Captain Henderson was a founder shareholder and director of Ulster Television
Captain Henderson was a founder shareholder and director of Ulster Television

Captain OWJ (Bill) Henderson, proprietor of the News Letter in Northern Ireland for more than 30 years, has died. He was aged 86.

Capt Henderson, a member of a family which was directly associated in the ownership of the newspaper since 1804, was an Irish Guards officer in the Second World War.

He combined the roles of managing director and chairman of Century Newspaper from 1959 until 1991, when the paper moved into new ownership.

The News Letter, founded in 1737, is claimed to be the oldest-existing English written daily newspaper in continuous publication in the world and, for most of two centuries, the Henderson family was its publisher.

Capt Henderson, who is survived by his wife and three daughters, headed up operations from 1947 at the paper's Donegall Street premises in the centre of Belfast.

In 1965, Century Newspapers under Capt Henderson established Sunday News, the first Sunday newspaper published in Northern Ireland.

Capt Henderson was also a founder shareholder and director of Ulster Television, where his elder brother, the late Brum, was the managing director from 1960.

He also owned the newspaper titles of the Carrickfergus Advertiser and Shopping News and an extensive printing company Universities Press (Belfast) Limited.

Capt Henderson was a member of the Ulster Unionist Party in east Belfast, and from 1953 to 1958 he was MP for the Victoria constituency in the former Stormont Parliament.

He was a Deputy Lieutenant for the county borough and city of Belfast.

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