Robert Maxwell


Also found in: Wikipedia.

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.

Bibliography

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

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
References in periodicals archive ?
On his way out the door, former AZGOP deputy communications director Robert Maxwell sent a stinging letter of resignation alleging Party chair Jonathan Lines is misappropriating party resources to boost his re-election bid, squandering party funds on useless consultants and putting the 2020 election in jeopardy.
1991: Robert Maxwell, millionaire publishing tycoon, was found dead at sea hours after disappearing from his yacht off the Canary Islands.
Sir Philip Green has a huge amount of money - unlike Robert Maxwell - if he wishes now to make good the pension deficit to those 22,000 pensioners he could do it
Frank Field, chair of the committee that probed the fiasco, branded Green "worse than Robert Maxwell" and accused him of "plundering BHS".
SECRET files have revealed how media mogul Robert Maxwell (below) entered a battle of wills with Margaret Thatcher over funding for the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh - and spectacularly lost out to the Iron Lady's steely determination.
January 2, 1969: Rupert Murdoch beats a PS34 million rival bid from Robert Maxwell to win control of the News of the World newspaper group.
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.
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.