Sir Ray Tindle was the founder and lifetime president of Tindle Newspapers, which owned regional titles across the United Kingdom.
From the early to the mid 1990s he was a major shareholder in the News Letter and for a while was effectively the owner of the world’s oldest English language daily newspaper.
Sir Ray bought his first paper in London with a demob payment he received after serving in World War Two.
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Ultimately he owned dozens of titles and did so without owing any debt.
Sir Ray died peacefully on Saturday.
Danny Cammiade, chief executive of Tindle Newspapers, said: “Sir Ray was a traditional local newspaper proprietor who truly believed in the importance of covering grassroots news with people and faces at the forefront of everything.
“Sir Ray had a long association with the former Newspaper Society, holding the office of president and for many years acting as treasurer.
“He was a benefactor to numerous charities, and a supporter of the industry and all who worked within it.
“Sir Ray’s arrangements will be confirmed in due course, but it is hoped that later in the year there will be an opportunity to celebrate his life and service to our industry.”
In 1996, the News Letter was sold to Mirror Group newspapers. Sir Ray initially retained a stake in the paper.
In 2003 the paper was sold to a London-based venture capital business 3i, and three years later in 2006 it was bought by Johnston Press, which in 2018 became JPI and then last year was taken over by National World.