Passionate journalist with a flair for mentoring rising talent
MY FORMER colleague David Rosenberg, who has died aged 70, was known for his exuberance and talent for chasing a story. A feature writer for the Sunday Telegraph, which he called his “journalistic Garden of Eden,” David always encouraged younger colleagues. He defined himself as a proud Scot, surrounding himself with equally patriotic peers, but was actually born in Sunderland.
The only child of Gertie and Hymie Rosenberg, a commercial traveller, he was shaped by a happy childhood, despite financial challenges and his father’s early death from heart disease. From Annette Street School he won a scholarship to Hutcheson’s School, and gained a degree in history and politics from Glasgow University. He became chairman of the Jewish Society and later national chairman of the Inter-University Jewish Federation (IUJF), precursor to the Union of Jewish Students. He worked on the student newspaper, later forging a career path in sports journalism. But he soon realised that his support for Glasgow Rangers would not shape a long-term career.
So he began working on the Manchester Evening News. There he met and married marketing consultant Carol Goldstone, whom he described as the bedrock of his life. They moved to London in the 1970s when David was appointed senior news features writer on the Sunday Telegraph. It was during his years on the paper that his daughter Anna and son Oliver were born. But when Conrad Black bought the paper and merged the daily and Sunday editions into a seven-day paper, he and six of the seven-strong features team left. His redundancy package offered time to write a book, but he found the life of an author too solitary. In the mid 1980s, he joined the JC as assistant editor and travel editor after which he headed the corporate relations team at Travelex, whose annual PR highlight was its Travel Writers Award. Now in his 50s, undaunted by his first serious health issues, he launched a specialised travel business with his colleague Julie Shmueli.
He later put his mentoring skills to formal use via a diploma in life coaching, at Brookes College, Oxford, mentoring many people through contacts and the charity, Resource. He and Carol embarked on several travel adventures over the last few years, including a recent round-the-world trip while he was in remission from skin cancer. He took great joy in the marriages of his daughter Anna, a TV game-show presenter, to Aaron Kidd, and Oliver, a banker, to Gillian Busch, and in the birth of his first grandson Ace, with another baby in waiting whom he did not live to meet.
David and Carol were popular and generous party-givers, and particularly valued the family unit. “It’s not what Dad did, but the inter-related values — which have shaped Anna and me and continue to inspire us”, said Oliver. He is survived by Carol, his children, their spouses and grandson. GLORIA TESSLER