Born: October 26, 1925; Died: May 28, 2012.

Bob Edwards, who has died aged 86, was a journalist who ran three UK national newspapers and also edited the now-defunct Glasgow Evening Citizen.

In 1963, during the second of his two spells at the helm of the Daily Express, he bought up Christine Keeler, the woman at the centre of the Profumo affair, for £2000. It was a decision that shocked the proprietor, Lord Beaverbrook, but boosted circulation.

He was born in Farnham, Surrey, and brought up in Reading. His father was a director of United Dairies but never married his mother as he also had another family and kept two households going in tandem.

He left school at 15 and began his journalistic career on the Reading Mercury, interrupted by war service in the ranks of RAF ground crew. After the war he returned to the Mercury as a district reporter before joining the left-wing Tribune on the recommendation of the Labour MP Ian Mikardo.

After a brief spell on The People, where, thanks to a tip-off from Michael Foot, he revealed the resignation of Aneurin Bevan from the Attlee Government, he returned to Tribune in 1951 as editor before joining the Beaverbrook empire as a leader writer on the Evening Standard in London at £50 a week. Despite defying Beaverbrook's pro-Eden stance during the Suez crisis in 1956, he was made deputy editor of the Sunday Express in 1957.

In 1959 he was moved to the Daily Express as managing editor and two years later Beaverbrook decided to make him editor. But his spell at the helm was shortlived, thanks in part to hostility from Max Aitken, Beaverbrook's son, who summoned Edwards to his office in 1962 and sacked him.

When the editorship of the Glasgow Evening Citizen, one of the Beaverbrook group's papers, became vacant he asked Beaverbrook for the job and was appointed immediately. But, at Beaverbrook's request, it was not long before he was back at the Express.

After three years he moved over to run The People. Then, in 1972, he began a 13-year run at the Sunday Mirror. His most famous story was an account of a tryst between Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in the royal train in Wiltshire. Buckingham Palace denied this furiously but Edwards insisted it was true and later claimed the tale cost him a knighthood.

After Robert Maxwell took over the Mirror Group in 1984 he took the symbolic title of editor in chief and later accepted the group's vice chairmanship. He retired at 60 to write his autobiography, Goodbye Fleet Street. He was appointed CBE in 1986.

Bob Edwards married, in 1952, Laura Ellwood, with whom he had two sons and two daughters. The marriage was dissolved in 1972, and in 1977 he married Brigid Segrave.