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Davidson, James Edward (1870–1930)

A very wide circle of friends will be shocked to learn of the sudden death in London yesterday morning of Mr. J. E. [James Edward] Davidson, managing director of News Ltd., of which 'The Daily News' is one of the associated journals.

Mr. Davidson passed through Fremantle about six weeks ago on his way to attend the Imperial Press Congress, which was to have commenced its sittings in London today. For some years the health of Mr. Davidson had not been quite satisfactory, the tragic death of a son and the recent death in England of his brother, Mr. Allan Davidson, the well-known mining engineer and explorer, having affected him deeply. There seemed, however, no occasion for anxiety, and it was hoped that a rest from his arduous duties would restore his health completely.

Before embarking upon journalism Mr. Davidson was for some time secretary to Lord (then Sir John) Forrest when Premier of this State. Later, he joined the literary staff of the 'West Australian' from which newspaper, after five years' service, he resigned to accept a position on the 'Argus,' where he remained for nine years. It was typical of Mr. Davidson that, having decided to adopt journalism as a profession, he determined to learn all he could about every branch. With this object in view he went to America and obtained employment in every department of newspaper production.

Returning to Australia Mr. Davidson became editor of the 'Weekly Times,' published by 'The Herald' Company. Subsequently he was general manager and editor-in-chief of the publications issued by 'The Herald' Company, a position he held until he resigned about ten years ago.

Mr. Davidson bought the 'Barrier Miner' of Broken Hill, and the 'Recorder' of Port Pirie, South Australia. Extending his activities he formed the company which established 'The News,' practically the first evening paper published in South Australia, in July, 1923. A little more than four years ago News Ltd. bought 'The Daily News,' Perth, from Mr. A. Lovekin, M.L.C.

As a newspaper man Mr. Davidson was notable for his remarkable attention to detail, his news sense and boundless energy and determination. As a man it is not too much to say that he was loved by everyone privileged to know him. Generous to a fault, a hater of 'side' and shams, possessed of indomitable courage he can ill be spared from the newspaper life of Australia.

Mr. J. E. Davidson was born in 1870, a son of the late J. J. Davidson, of Thackaringa Station, New South Wales.

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'Davidson, James Edward (1870–1930)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 15 August 2020.

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