Editor’s blog Thursday 12 August 2010: Andrew Roth RIP - 23 April 1919 – 12 August 2010
The seminal parliamentary journalist Andrew Roth died this morning, at the age of 91.
Born in New York, he was a journalist and foreign correspondent around the world for 20 years. Moving to this country in 1950, Roth was political correspondent for the Manchester Evening News from 1972-1984, contributed to the New Statesman from 1984-1997, and has been an obituarist and contributor to The Guardian since 1996.
The Telegraph's obituary is online here, and The Guardian's is here.
He also wrote the long-running Parliamentary Profiles books after every general election, providing witty pen portraits of the new intake and hold hands alike among MPs. Examples of Roth Profiles can be found online here, on The Guardian's politics site. He also produced a weekly newsletter, 'Westminster Confidential'.
I had the privilege of editing Andrew Roth's columns during my eight-year stretch in charge of British Journal of Healthcare Management 2000-8; in truth, little editing was ever needed. The monthly phone call with him, during which we would scope subject material, debate, gossip and laugh, was always a pleasure. His ability to contextualise events and deep perspective were wonderful assets.
I was lucky enough to be invited to his 90th birthday celebrations last year, which was our first meeting in person.
Andrew Roth was a privilege to work with: a pioneer of the irreverent and investigative school of writing about parliamentary politics, which I would suggest has made both politics and the media better (if less comfortable) places to work.
Obviously, he was as experienced an observer as you will get of Parliament and parliamentarians, but he was also shrewd, witty, smart, brilliant, reliable and humorous.
He leaves his third wife Antoinette, and two children, three grandchildren and a great granddaughter, some of whom I was lucky enough to meet on his 90th birthday last year.
He also leaves some great writing, and a life fully lived.