Louis Kirby, who has died aged 77, was editor of both the Evening News and Evening Standard and led the merger of the two London evenings in 1980.
Kirby was editor of the Evening News from 1974 to 1980 and then the Evening Standard from 1980 to 1986.
He later became editorial director of Mail Newspapers, and was editor of UK Mail, the international edition of the Mail, until his retirement. Kirby was born in Liverpool and educated at Coalbrookdale High School, Shropshire.
He joined the Express & Star, Wolverhampton, straight from school as a junior reporter, also working in Shrewsbury and Stafford.
From 1949 to 1950, he was a reporter with the Royal Gazette, Bermuda, and then freelanced for two years, before joining the Daily Mail in Manchester as a reporter.
The following year, he ran the Liverpool bureau and then moved to Dublin in 1955 and London in 1956. There he was in turn courts reporter, parliamentary gallery writer and lobby correspondent.
He joined the Daily Sketch in 1962 as chief reporter, and was, successively leader writer, political writer, assistant editor, executive editor, then acting editor during preparations for the merger of the Sketch and its sister paper, the Daily Mail, which was relaunched as a tabloid in 1971.
He was appointed deputy editor of the Daily Mail from 1971 to 1974, then became editor of the Evening News, which was also relaunched as a tabloid in August 1974. He moved the Evening News upmarket until its merger with the Evening Standard in 1980.
Daily Mail and General Trust chairman Lord Rothermere said: "Louis Kirby was an exceptional journalist and editor who made a significant contribution particularly to life in London.
"A great campaigner for his readers as editor of, first The London Evening News, then the Evening Standard he edited with passion and great skill.
"His 50-year service to the Mail Group was characterised by his talent, commitment and dedication."
Kirby was married three times and had nine children. He leaves a widow, Heather McGlone, an assistant editor at the Daily Mail. His funeral was held on Monday (31 October) at St. Bride's Church on Fleet Street.