She became an award winning columnist and distinguished writer who spent nearly 40 years working for one of Scotland’s daily newspapers, The Herald, in Glasgow for whom she wrote her final piece shortly before her death.
She joined the Yorkshire Post straight from school as a reporter but her writing talent soon saw her become a feature writer and then Women’s Editor of Yorkshire’s national newspaper.
In 1975 she moved to Scotland to what was then the Glasgow Herald, later to become The Herald, at a time when its approach was more parochial than The Scotsman, which it was later to challenge as the country’s leading daily newspaper.
Iain Lindsay Smith, the Yorkshire Post deputy editor, had left a year earlier to be editor of the Glasgow Herald and revive its fortunes.
He persuaded Anne – charming, talented, hard working and good at working against the clock – to follow him as Women’s Editor.
She wrote features and high-profile interviews, was the paper’s radio writer and also wrote about fashion, all in a very polished style which contributed to the Herald competing with, and then becoming more than a match for its Edinburgh based rival.
Among her high-profile interviewees were Bill and Hillary Clinton, Seamus Heaney, Sir Alex Ferguson and John Le Carre.She won a number of awards, including British Fashion Writer of the Year.
She was born in Dublin, one of four sisters whose father was an architect. She moved to Leeds with her family as a young girl and was educated at St Gemma’s Independent Primary School, in Leeds, now the site of St Gemma’s Hospice, and then St Joseph’s Catholic College, Bradford.
She could have gone to university but was so determined to become a journalist she turned down a number of places, and instead joined the Yorkshire Post on leaving school.
She remained close to her roots in Ireland with many friends and relatives there, and had a holiday cottage in Connemara. She also reported from Dublin and, in 1990, wrote her only book, Blooming Dublin, a celebration of the city’s moods. It was published in 1991 to coincide with the Irish capital’s year as European City of Culture.
For almost 20 years she was the partner of Arnold Kemp, also a gifted journalist who edited the Herald from 1981 to 1994. He died in 2002 at the age of 63.
Anne Simpson is survived by her three sisters, Stephanie, Bridget and Claire.