John Charles Walsham ReithJohn C. W. Reith
), later Sir John Reith
-), then Baron Reith of Stonehaven
-) established the British tradition of independent public service broadcasting
. He is most commonly referred to as Lord Reith
Born at Stonehaven in Scotland, Reith received his education at Glasgow Academy and at Gresham's School, Holt. He became an engineer and then (1922) the General Manager (later Director-General, 1927 -1938) of the infant BBC. He expounded firm principles of centralised, all-encompassing radio broadcasting, stressing programming standards and moral tone.
The first regular television broadcasts (November 1936 to September 1939) started under Reith's stewardship.
In 1940 Reith became a member of Parliament for Southampton and joined the cabinet as Minister of Works and Buildings (1940 - 1942).
The BBC Reith Lectures commemorate Lord Reith.