Margaret Hughes, who has died aged 82, worked for the Guardian for 18 years as personal finance editor and editor of the Jobs and Money section.
In a male-dominated world, Margaret’s no-nonsense attitude not only allowed her to survive, but to thrive, and earned her the nickname of “the Tiger” in the office, backed up with a growl to match, though this was used only when required.
She will be remembered for her laugh, her spirit and for enjoying the fun side of life. She was a clever, witty, kind woman, loyal and generous to her friends and always willing to have a go at anything, particularly if it involved travel. Her New Year parties were legendary and a highlight of the holiday season for years.
Margaret was born in Llanymawddwy, Powys, the daughter of the Rev Harold Hughes, the local vicar, and his wife, Louie, a teacher. She was close in age to her much-loved younger brother, David. When their father died suddenly in 1952, Margaret became a boarder at St Margaret’s school, Bushey, in Hertfordshire.
She qualified as a pharmacist at the Chelsea School of Pharmacy and was recruited by Glaxo as a copywriter and editor of publications, enjoying life in 1960s London. She joined AdMen, a publication for the media industry, as news editor, and in 1970 became a staff writer and then world trade page editor on the Financial Times. She spent three years in Cairo reporting on the Middle East for the FT, the Observer, Cairo Today and the Middle East Economic Digest.
Returning to London in 1986, she joined Robert Maxwell’s short-lived London Daily News and in 1987 moved to the Guardian to become its well-respected personal finance editor. She was named personal finance journalist of the year in 1989.
After leaving the Guardian in 2005, Margaret worked as a freelance and consultant, retiring in 2010. She retained her keen interest in current affairs, working for 10 years as UK secretary for the Association of European Journalists (AEJ) and organising their monthly meetings until 2020.
As well as the many foreign trips exploring the world, Margaret made a home for herself in London, enjoying the jazz she loved and sharing her great sense of fun with close friends.
Margaret’s 1976 marriage to Anthony McDermott ended in divorce. David predeceased her. She kept up a close relationship with several godchildren and is survived by two nephews, Alexander and me, and a niece, Jessica.