Fleet Street colleagues were shocked to learn that former national press high-flyer Paul Field has died aged 48 from a suspected heart attack.
Paul began his career on his local paper aged 15 and then joined the Daily Mirror as a trainee.
After a stint as a reporter on the Daily Mail he became deputy news editor of the Sunday People aged 26. A year later he was news editor of the Sunday Mirror.
In 2000, aged 28, he became news editor of the Mail on Sunday. In 2003 he was headhunted by The Sun to run the newsdesk as associate editor (news) and in in 2004 he helped relaunch the National Enquirer in the US working in New York as its editor-in-chief.
He rejoined the Mail group of titles in 2006 where he was editor-in-chief of the Irish Daily Mail, associate editor of the Daily Mail and also part of the team which launched Mail Online.
Paul had been chief executive of video technology company Touchcast since December 2013.
Friends felt he would almost certainly have been a national newspaper editor had he not decided to pursue a career outside journalism.
Former Mail on Sunday editor Peter Wright said: “Paul was a brilliant journalist who joined the paper as its youngest-ever news editor.
“Not only did he have an unerring instinct for news, he built a team of highly talented reporters. He was devoted to his wife Michaela and their daughters, and will be hugely missed.”
Sunday Mirror editor Paul Henderson said: “I enjoyed the great privilege of working with Paul in London and New York.
“He’ll be remembered as a remarkably gifted journalist and a loyal friend.”
Freelance journalist and friend Rob McGibbon said: “I was seriously shocked and saddened to hear of Paul’s death. I first met him for more than 20 years ago and we became good mates, way beyond work.