Saturday, March 13, 2021

The Baron Wolfson of Sunningdale 1935-2021

 _. Lord Wolfson of Sunningdale, life peer, who died 10 March, 2021, aged 85, was Downing Street’s first chief of staff who was at Margaret Thatcher’s side after the Brighton bombing and was chairman of Next 1990-98, and Great Universal Stores 1996-2000.

David Wolfson was born 9 Nov, 1935, the son of Charles Wolfson, a director of the family business who died in 1970 on board the Queen Elizabeth 2, and his wife, Hylda (née Jarvis).

He married firstly in 1962, Patricia Rawlings [born 27 Jan, 1939], a former debutante who is now Baroness Rawlings. The marriage was described in The Times as “an utter failure because after six weeks Mr Wolfson filed a petition for restitution of conjugal rights”. They were divorced in December 1966 and the following year he married Susan Davis, by whom he had two sons, Simon (Lord Wolfson of Aspley Guise), whose appointment as chief executive of Next at the age of 33 led to cries in the press of nepotism; Andrew, a businessman, and a daughter the Hon Deborah. his second marriage also ended in divorce, and in 2018 he married Alicia [Anne] Trevor, who survives him with their teenage son, Tom.

Career: Great Universal Stores 1960-78, and 1993-2000; Secretary to the Shadow Cabinet 1978-79; Chief of Staff, Political Office 10 Downing Street, 1979-85; Chairman, Alexon Group PLC [formerly Steionberg Group PLC] 1982-86; non executive director: Stewart Wrightson Holdings PLC 1985-87; Next 1980-90, &c.

He was created a life peer in 1991 as Baron Wolfson of Sunningdale, of Trevose in the County of Cornwall.


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