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Max Aitken
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Publisher
    (May 25, 1879-June 9, 1964)
    Born in Maple, Ontario, Canada
    Birth name was William Maxwell Aitken
    Canadian-British publisher/politician/philanthropist
    Owned the 'London Evening Standard' and 'Daily Express'
    Named 1st Baron Beaverbrook (1917)
    Served as Minister of Information (1918), Aircraft Production (1940-41), Supply (1941-42) and War Production (1942)
    Wrote 'Canada in Flanders' (1916), 'Politicians and the Press' (1925), 'Politicians and the War' (1932) and 'Men and Power' (1956)
    He reportedly left Canada for Britain one step ahead of being busted for securities fraud.
    After unsuccessfully trying to oust Stanley Baldwin as leader of the Conservative Party, he briefly supported Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists.
    He was described by Time as having 'the smile and manners of a spoiled bad boy.'
    He announced his retirement from publishing three times (the first in 1927) only to keep running his newspapers until his death.
    H.G. Wells said, 'If ever Max ever gets to Heaven, he won't last long. He will be chucked out for trying to pull off a merger between Heaven and Hell -- after having secured a controlling interest in key subsidiary companies in both places, of course.'
    He was one of three politicians to serve in the British cabinet during both World Wars.
    Under his leadership, aircraft production increased so much that Winston Churchill said, 'His personal force and genius made this Aitken's finest hour.'
    He turned the Daily Express into the best-selling newspaper in the world.
    He employed Evelyn Waugh as a correspondent despite Waugh lampooning him in several novels.
    He became chancellor of the University of New Brunswick, where he funded several buildings and scholarships.

Credit: C. Fishel


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