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September 21, 2015updated 30 Sep 2015 3:05pm

Former Yorks Evening Post editor who started £2.8m charity appeal dies aged 84

By Mark A. Silberstein

Former Yorkshire Evening Post editor Malcolm Barker has died aged 84. He edited the paper  from 1970 to 1987 and received an OBE for his services to journalism. 

While he was editor of the Yorkshire Evening Post (YEP)  Barker was responsible for launching the Half and Half appeal, started to  raise funds for two Leeds hospices, which is  believed to be the longest running newspaper charity campaign in the UK. A Yorkshire Evening Post piece reports that the appeal started in 1982 with the aim of raising £250,000 to share equally between the two hospices but as the campaign grew it amassed a total of £2.8m. On the 30th anniversary of the appeal Barker said: “It’s astonishing to me that it’s still going strong. It’s a great credit to the staff at the paper and of course the readers that have supported it so well."

Barker continued to write a column for The Yorkshire Post until days before his death. In his final column on 5 September where he he paid tribute to the Queen as she prepared to become the nation’s longest-reigning monarch.

Chris Bye, the current YEP editor, said: “Malcolm became a legend in all newspaper journalism. He was a highly skilled writer and editor who made a great impact on the community he so ably served. He was well-loved by his staff and will be sadly missed.”

Both Barker's father and grandfather were editors and he met his wife, Janet Greenwood a fellow journalist whom he married in 1958, at the Doncaster Chronicle after joining the paper as a reporter after his national service at the RAF.

The Yorkshire Post obituary states: "Admired and respected by his colleagues as a consummate professional and possessed of exceptional energy and curiosity, he was a writer whose work was enjoyed by generations of readers."

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