The The Observer reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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The Observer

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The Observer is a broadsheet newspaper of the United Kingdom published on Sundays. It takes a liberal/social democratic line on most issues and is the world's first Sunday newspaper (first issue published on December 4, 1791).

In 1911, William Waldorf Astor (1848-1919) purchased The Observer from the Harmsworth family. The Observer had changed its position in 1942. Till then, it had always been a Tory paper, under the 34-year editorship of J. L. Garvin. After his time, it declared itself non-partisan, at that time an unusual stance, but today one claimed by almost all papers.

Passed on to son Waldorf Astor, he in turn passed it on in 1948 to his sons, of which David Astor (1912-2001) would be the paper's editor for 27 years. In 1977, the Astors sold the ailing newspaper to US oil giant Atlantic Richfield (ARCO) for US$1 who later sold it to Lonrho plc. Since June 1993, it has been part of the Guardian Media Group.

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