Ken Jackson, a miner’s son turned successful West Midlands journalist who also helped to launch the Channel Tunnel, has died at the age of 76 after a lengthy illness.
Jackson enjoyed a 50-year-career in public relations and newspapers.
He started out as a trainee reporter with the Cannock Advertiser before moving to newspapers in the north east.
He returned to the West Midlands in 1964 when he joined the business desk of the Express and Star in Wolverhampton and later moved to the Birmingham Post as property editor.
West Midlands freelance journalist and former Birmingham Mail business editor Jon Griffin said: “He was always a journalist at heart and loved nothing more than recalling his days at the Birmingham Post and Mail in the years of mass circulation newspapers.”
“He was a true gentleman, shrewd with an astute business brain, as well as a supportive and loyal friend with a wry sense of humour,” he added.
Jackson, born in Chadsmoor, Cannock, completed his National Council for the Training of Journalists course in the 1950s and was a life member of the National Union of Journalists, as well as a long-serving member of the Birmingham Press Club.
He also worked in PR as a director of corporate affairs, and was behind the construction group Tarmac’s publicity campaign which led to the eventual launch in 1994 of the Channel Tunnel connecting France and the UK.
Jackson later launched his own PR agency with his wife Hilary from his home in Standon, near Stafford.
Former colleague and ex-Birmingham Post business editor Fred Bromwich said: “Ken enjoyed a great career as an outstanding journalist in his field and he was the complete PR professional.”
Jackson leaves Hilary as well as a daughter Debra and son Marcus from his first marriage.
Hilary said: “He had a real sense of community. He always wanted to help people, that was his raison d’être until he died – he would give anybody a helping hand.”
The funeral will be held at St Dominic’s in Stone at 12pm on Monday 16 July followed by burial at All Saints Church in Sandon and refreshments later at Sandy Leys Farm in Sandon.