Robert Maxwell

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Maxwell, Robert

(Ian Robert Maxwell), 1923–91, British business executive, b. Czechoslovakia as Jan Ludwik Hoch. He grew up in a tight-knit Jewish community. After fleeing the Nazis in 1939, Maxwell fought with the British during World War II. In 1951, he purchased Pergamon Press, a publisher of textbooks and scientific journals. The company's success helped him win election to Parliament in 1964 as a Labour member. A 1969 financial scandal cost Maxwell control over Pergamon and his political career, but he went heavily into debt and repurchased Pergamon in 1974. In the 1980s, he borrowed additional funds to create a diversified media empire that came to include the Mirror Newspaper Group, the U.S. book publishing company Macmillan, the Official Airline Guides, Berlitz, and the New York Daily News.

After Maxwell drowned mysteriously while cruising off the Canary Islands, investigators discovered that he had misappropriated hundreds of millions of dollars from his companies and their pension plans to finance his corporate expansion. Maxwell's companies were forced to file for bankruptcy protection in Great Britain and the United States in 1992. In 1995 Maxwell's sons Kevin and Ian and two former directors went on trial in one of Britain's largest fraud cases. The charges included misusing Maxwell group pension fund stocks to assist a faltering Maxwell company and risking pension fund shares to secure a loan for another Maxwell company. They were acquitted in 1996.


See T. Bower, Maxwell (1992); R. Greenslade, Maxwell (1992); and E. Maxwell (his widow), A Mind of My Own (1994).

References in periodicals archive ?
1991: Robert Maxwell, millionaire publishing tycoon, was found dead at sea hours after disappearing from his yacht off the Canary Islands.
Robert Maxwell, partner at London-based Allies and Morrison, said: "We are delighted to be given a further opportunity to design a high quality, energy efficient and attractive building that will provide a pleasant work environment for many years to come.
The 53-year-old daughter of disgraced media tycoon Robert Maxwell is accused of procuring girls for American Epstein and friends.
1991: Administrators are called in to try to salvage the business empire of Robert Maxwell, above, which is PS1bn in debt.
Synopsis: Adept at moving between the examination of modern and contemporary architecture, art, literature and music, Robert Maxwell is a respected scholar whose critical writings articulate the role architecture plays in contemporary culture.
1991: Millionaire publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell was found dead at sea hours after disappearing from his yacht off the Canary Islands.
David's first Fleet Street job was at this paper where one night as a cub reporter he hung up on feared owner Robert Maxwell, thinking it was a mate's prank.
THE widow of crooked media tycoon Robert Maxwell has died at the age of 92.
com)-- When the 2013 Carnival season in New Orleans gets underway, Robert Maxwell will be taking the podium as conductor of The Jimmy Maxwell Orchestra.
1991: Robert Maxwell dies at sea The body of the millionaire newspaper publisher, Robert Maxwell, pictured right, is found in the sea off the coast of Tenerife.
Listen, I worked for Robert Maxwell - nothing's going to frighten me
Years ago I wrote to Robert Maxwell suggesting he should run a competition to help people to pay Margaret Thatcher's new nightmare poll tax.