He formerly edited the Daily Express, the Daily Star and the News of the World, and was also managing editor of the Daily Mirror.
[Derek Jameson photographed in 1988]
However, Jameson really found fame on the BBC, presenting television series such as Do They Mean Us? and a popular breakfast show on Radio 2.
Known for his unique, gravelly Cockney voice, he once recalled a story of ringing directory enquiries and being asked: "Is that Derek Jameson?"
Jameson was born into poverty in London's East End, and grew up in a children's home. He entered Fleet Street at the very bottom as a messenger boy for the Reuters news agency at the age of 14, but then rose through the ranks to lead Britain's biggest newspapers.
He was highly skilled at building newspaper circulation, and took the Daily Star - the first new national tabloid in Britain in 75 years - to half a million copies within just a year of its launch.
He also added half a million readers to the Daily Express, but his fortunes changed in 1984 when he was fired by Rupert Murdoch after they fell out while he was at the News of the World. He later lost all his money in a libel action against the BBC.
The case came after BBC Radio 4 called him "an East End boy made bad" on the satirical current affairs sketch show Week Ending.
[Derek Jameson [L] at the Sony Radio Awards in 1987, [R] photographed in 1993]
However, the corporation valued his skills as a communicator and signed him up for various television and radio shows, and he took over the Radio 2 breakfast show from Ken Bruce in March 1986.
Gary Bones, who was a senior producer on Jameson's Radio 2 breakfast show in the early '90s, said: "Derek was not only a unique broadcaster and Fleet Street legend but also a really nice, kind and generous man who always knew exactly how to tap into the mood of the nation at the time.
"I remember nothing more demonstrated his sensitive nature than when he broke down on air during his daily review of the papers while reading a story about a child with leukaemia.
"Listeners at the time will remember his daily catchphrase: 'Morning, morning, Jameson here'. He will be greatly missed, and our thoughts are with his wife Ellen."
Jameson went on to present a late night radio chat show for six years with his wife Ellen, and also worked for Sky and Thames TV.
He lived in Hove, on the English south coast, for many years and has two buses named after him. He told his life story in 1988 autobiography Touched by Angels, and the second volume Last of the Hot Metal Men in 1990.
He is survived by Ellen, his third wife, and four adult children.