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Obituary: José García Alegre

José García Alegre (photo), former manager of Reuters Spain and also sub-director of the Spanish news agency EFE, has died in Madrid aged 91.

Known to his friends as Pepe, he was born in Tangiers in 1930 and brought to Spain by Reuters in 1956 to manage a joint venture, Comtelsa, with EFE. He rose in both companies, becoming a senior manager of EFE in the 1970s before taking over as country manager for Reuters in the 1980s.


He could never actually practice as a journalist because he did not have a university degree (a requirement in Spain) but he forged a successful career fostering the growth and expansion of Reuters business in Spain, particularly on the econ side.


Following Reuters flotation, when Reuters disengaged from and broke with EFE in order to sell its services directly to Spanish customers, he moved across to become director general of Reuters in Spain. He held this position until his retirement in 1995, and not long afterwards he spoke very wittily at the annual pensioners’ lunch in London.


Pepe was soft spoken and unfailingly polite and good natured, but he had little sympathy with those who opposed General Franco. ■