David Couper Thomson

1861 - 1954

Publisher. Born in Dundee, Thomson took charge of the publishing arm of the family firm in 1884, and built it into one of the major forces in Scottish publishing recognised at home and internationally. Becoming D.C. Thomson in 1905, the company was the journalism in Dundee's "three J's", notable for strenuously resisting the existence of trade unions amongst his work-force and indeed for refusing to employ people of the Roman Catholic faith.

Newspaper titles include the Sunday Post, which at its height was read by 4 out of 5 of the Scottish population, and remains the best-selling newspaper in Scotland, the Dundee Courier and Advertiser and the Evening Telegraph. Magazines include the People's Friend and Scot's Magazine.

However, D.C .Thomson is perhaps best known for a vast range of children's comics, including the Wizard (1922), Hotspur (1933), Dandy (1937), Beano (1938), Victor and Commando, with characters such as Desperate Dan, Lord Snooty, Korky the Cat and Dennis the Menace. Many of D.C. Thomson's most famous comic characters were produced by the illustrator Dudley D. Watkins (1907-69), including Oor Wullie and The Broons, who appeared in the Sunday Post.

Thomson remained actively involved in running the company until his death. Renowned for their conservatism, it was only in 1992 that the Dundee Courier became the last daily paper to put news, rather than advertisements and notices, on its front page. They are also now publishers of the Aberdeen Press and Journal. Today, D.C. Thomson produces more than 200 million newspapers, magazines and comics annually and employ more than 2000 people. They are still headquartered in Dundee, with offices in Glasgow, Manchester and are the largest major national publishers retaining a presence in Fleet Street in London. Their portfolio includes local radio, marketing and digital media, such as the Find my Past family history web service.

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