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Rex Features founder Frank Selby dies aged 100

Frank reading his birthday card from the Queen on his 100th birthday in January this year. Photo: John Selby

Sad news reached the PAN office over the weekend, Frank Selby, the founder of London based photo agency Rex Features, has died.
We featured photos of Frank celebrating a very lively 100th Birthday last month.

I contacted Frank’s son, John, who is currently in Australia and he sent us the following words:

FRANK SELBY (Feri Salusinszky)

12th January 1918 – 17th February 2018

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our much-loved and wonderful husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather and great-grandfather Frank Selby.

He passed away quickly and peacefully at his London home on the morning of Saturday 17th February, having just minutes earlier told his wife, Elizabeth how much he loved her. Romantic to the end, even after nearly 70 years of marriage!

Frank was co-founder of Rex Features which was family-owned and run until 2011, a mentor for countless photographers and photo-journalists and a friend to everyone in Fleet Street.

It was a great pleasure for him and for us all to have celebrated his 100th birthday last month with close family and friends. We will miss him terribly but are so proud of everything he achieved in his lifetime.

The Selby Family

• John Selby told me an obituary is being prepared which we will update with once ready:

Industry Reaction: (scroll down to see other comments in the comments area below this article)

• Lars Modie at photo agency IBL Sweden.
“I’ve personally known Frank and the whole of Selby family for several years. Representing REX in Sweden since 1971 gave quite a few visits to Vine Hill Street in London where we always was hosted very friendly, most often combined with a family lunch (which lasted a couple of hours) in the office kitchen. Frank’s interest in images, and not at least photographers brought the REX business into one of the most successive ones in the editorial Marketplace.”

• John Melhuish who worked at Rex May 1994-April 2014.
“I am so sorry to read the news of the passing of Frank Selby. He was a kind and caring boss, always having time to speak to all. I will always be grateful to him and all the Selby family for offering me a job after a redundancy. RIP Mr. Selby.”

• Anne-Marie Craven
“Sad news indeed. I remember both of them so well when I was researching frequently at Rex in the late 70s and 80s. Kind, caring and always very welcoming. “
Anne-Marie
– researched as Anne-Marie Ehrlich

• Paul Brown – currently MD at Mary Evans Picture Library who worked at Rex Features 1980-2006 (26 years):
“So sorry to hear about Frank Selby. One of the industry greats from the Golden Era and beyond. What he and Elizabeth Selby created at Rex Features was truly special and unique and I feel privileged to have been part of the Rex family they created, for so long. Their integrity was the backbone of the agency which became one of Fleet Street’s most respected. He was a very special man. The world is a poorer place without him.”

If you would like to include a memory of Frank please use the comments box below or for inclusion within this article, please email me will@photoarchivenews.com

View all Rex Features articles on PAN

Newspapers Metro and Daily Telegraph also ran news of Frank’s death.

6 comments

  • What a huge loss, but what a great life. One of the ‘Fleet Street agencies’ true greats. So happy that he got to celebrate his milestone birthday surrounded by friends and family.

  • Thank you the Selby family for taking me in around 1976 and believing in me. Thank you. ..my dear frank I will miss you and your coffee. Xx

  • So sorry to hear the sad news about Frank Selby. I have known Frank and the Selby family since the 1970s. He was a trusted and very respected member of the picture agency industry and will be sadly missed.

    Robert Harding

  • Extremely sad to hear the news of the death of Frank Selby. I had the honour of working at Rex Features for over twenty years. During my time there I was always treated with great kindness, and will remember all the exciting times working for the best agency of it’s generation. My sympathies go out to the other rock of Rex Elizabeth Selby and children John, Mike and Sue along with grandchildren. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him, and I hope that a suitable memorial will be held for him.

  • We are so sad that Frank is no longer with us. After working with him since 1966, until my retirement in 2002, he was a big part of my life, and continued to be so afterwards. We were so happy to be at his 100th birthday lunch and to meet old friends and colleagues.
    Our thoughts and love go to all the family.

  • The sad news have traveled up north to Finland. I had the privilege to meet Mr. Frank Selby, or Dad Selby as we called him, on several occasions. Very fond and warm memories of him. My warmest condolences to the family Mrs. Selby, John , Mike and Sue. My thoughts are with you.

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