Simon Jenkins

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Sir Simon David Jenkins (born 10 June 1943) is a British newspaper columnist and author, and since November 2008 has been chairman of the National Trust. He currently writes columns for both The Guardian and London's Evening Standard, and was previously a commentator for The Times, which he edited from 1990-1992. He was educated at Mill Hill School and St John's College, University of Oxford|Oxford.

A former editor of both The Times and the Standard, he received a knighthood for services to journalism in the 2004 New Year honours.

He married the America actress Gayle Hunnicutt in 1978; the couple separated in 2008.[1]



After graduating from Oxford, Jenkins worked initially at Country Life magazine, before joining The Times Educational Supplement and then editing The Sunday Times Insight pages.[2][3] From 1976-78 he was editor of the Evening Standard, before moving to become political editor of The Economist. He edited The Times from 1990 to 1992, but since then has primarily worked as a columnist.[3]

On 28 January 2005, he announced he was ending his 15 year association with The Times in order to write a book before joining The Guardian as an op-ed contributor, although he retained a column on The Sunday Times until late summer 2008.[2] Since May 2005, he has been a contributing blogger at The Huffington Post.[4] Since 2009, he has also written a column on Tuesdays for the London paper The Evening Standard.[5]

In 1998 he was named as the What the Papers Say journalist of the year, and in 2004 he received a knighthood for services to journalism.[2] On 14 April 2009, The Guardian newspaper withdrew one of his articles from its website after ANC leader and current South African president Jacob Zuma sued the paper for defamation.[6]


Jenkins has written several books on politics, history and architecture, including England's Thousand Best Churches and England's Thousand Best Houses.[3]

Public appointments

He was a member of the Millennium Commission from February 1994 to Dec 2000,[7] and has also sat on the Board of Trustees of The Architecture Foundation.Template:Citation needed From 1985 to 1990, he was deputy chairman of English Heritage.[3]

In July 2008, it was announced that he had been chosen as the new chairman of the National Trust, and took over the post from William Proby in November of that year. Although he had in the past been critical of some aspects of the Trust's work, he described himself as being "very pleased" at the appointment, stating that the Trust was "one of England's great institutions".[8]


  1. Sir Simon Jenkins's wife files for divorce
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Dominic Timms (27 January 2005). "Times columnist Simon Jenkins to join the Guardian | Media", London: MediaGuardian. Retrieved on 2010-04-02. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 McSmith, Andy (5 July 2008). "Sir Simon Jenkins: History Man", London: The Independent. Retrieved on 1 May 2010. 
  4. Jenkins, Simon (2010-09-09). Simon Jenkins @ The Huffington Post. The Huffington Post. Retrieved on 2010-09-15.
  5. Template error: argument title is required. 
  6. "Zuma sues London's Guardian", South African Mail & Guardian (14 April 2009). Retrieved on 1 May 2010. 
  7. Millennium Commissioners. Millennium Commission. Retrieved on 5 December 2009.
  8. Kennedy, Maev (3 July 2008). "Writer Simon Jenkins to chair National Trust", London: The Guardian. Retrieved on 1 May 2010. 

External links

Preceded by:
Charles Wintour
Editor of the Evening Standard
Succeeded by:
Charles Wintour
Preceded by:
Charles Wilson
Editor of The Times
Succeeded by:
Peter Stothard