Paul Johnson Obituary, Death – Paul Johnson was one of the most prolific writers and for many, the most powerfully provoking journalist of his age; he is most easily remembered for his conversion from Left to Right in the 1970s, but he would have made his mark regardless, if not as a polemicist then as a popular historian. Paul Johnson passed away at the age of 94. He was one of the most prolific writers. He was also one of the most powerfully provoking journalists of his age.
In the 1960s, while he was editor of the New Statesman, he made impassioned arguments in favor of socialism’s cause. It took him ten years after leaving that chair to switch parties and become Margaret Thatcher’s confidant. This was the first of many times he would have a change of heart, but it is possible that it would not have garnered as much attention if he had not proclaimed it with such fervent zeal. He would go on to become prime minister.
Paul Bede Johnson was born on November 2nd, 1928, into a family of Catholic faith, and he spent his childhood in the Potteries. His father, William Aloysius Johnson, was the head of Burslem Art School. His father passed away when Paul was a youngster, but Paul went on to become a renowned watercolorist in his own right. After graduating from Stonyhurst, he attended Magdalen College in Oxford, where AJP Taylor inspired him to develop an interest in history.
After completing his mandatory national service as a subaltern in the Army Education Corps, he found employment on the Paris glossy Réalité and remained there for two years. In 1955, he moved back to London and began working for the New Statesman as a leader-writer and reporter. Five years later, he succeeded John Freeman as editor of the publication. He possessed the relatively uncommon gift, which is possessed exclusively by competent editors, of inspiring others to want to write well for him and giving them the assurance to do so. He was an editor. The publication thrived, and its circulation increased to almost exactly 100,000 copies, which was its biggest level ever. He quit the company in 1970 and continued working as a freelancer for the remainder of his life.