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Robert Maxwell
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    (June 10, 1923-November 5, 1991)
    Born in Slatinske Doly, Czechoslovakia (now Solotvyno, Ukraine)
    Birth name was Jan Ludvik Hoch
    Adopted the name Ian Robert Maxwell
    Member of Parliament for Buckingham (1964-70)
    Through Maxwell Communications Corporation owned Pergamon Press, Prentice-Hall, Collier Books, Nimbus Records, Berlitz language schools, 50% of MTV Europe and Oxford United Football Club
    Published the tabloids 'The Daily Mirror' in the UK and 'The Daily News' in New York City
    Drowned during a yachting trip in the Canary Islands
    Sir Walter Coutts, chairman of Pergamon Press, said, 'There is no question of morality or conscience. Maxwell is Number One and what Maxwell wants is the most important thing and to hell with anything else.'
    While doing business in Eastern European countries, he published sycophantic biographies of their dictators.
    He feuded with Rupert Murdoch.
    He filed libel suits against anyone suggesting his companies were in trouble.
    After he died, it was discovered that he had looted over $1 billion from the pension funds of his companies' employees.
    His death was officially ruled an accident - possibly caused by him fainting while taking a leak off the side of the boat -- but inspired rumors that he had committed suicide over his collapsing empire or had been killed because he was really a British and/or Israeli intelligence agent.
    He grew up so poor he did not have a pair of shoes until he was four.
    He won the Military Cross for bravery while serving with the British army in WWII.
    Prime Minister John Major said Maxwell provided 'valuable insight' during the hardline Communist coup that attempted to overthrown Mikhail Gorbachev.
    During his funeral, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir said, 'He has done more for Israel than can today be said.'
    David Suchet, who portrayed him in a BBC biopic, said 'You couldn't make Maxwell up - and that's why he makes for such great drama.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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