Robert MaxwellPublisher / Media Mogul
Born: 10 June 1923
Died: 5 November 1991 (drowning)
Birthplace: Slatinske Dòly, Czech Republic
Best known as: Disgraced publisher of the Daily Mirror
Name at Birth: Jan Ludvick Hoch
Robert Maxwell was a British publishing baron of the 1980s and for a short time one of the world's most prominent media moguls. Born to poor Jewish parents in the Czech Republic, Maxwell fought in the British Army in World War II and then settled in Britain, changing his name and becoming head of Permagon Publishing. In the 1970s Maxwell began building a media empire by borrowing and spending lavishly, acquiring among other properties the Daily Mirror, the book publisher MacMillan, and (in 1991) the New York Daily News. His rivalry with Australian mogul Rupert Murdoch was much publicized. In 1991, facing financial difficulties, Maxwell drowned while yachting off the Canary Islands. (The exact circumstances of his demise were unclear; a Spanish judge ruled out foul play, but did not determine how the death occurred.) After his death investigators discovered that Maxwell had propped up his empire by diverting hundreds of millions of pounds from pension funds and other sources. It was a major financial fiasco, and Maxwell's empire was dissolved and sold off in the following years.
Extra credit: Maxwell is unrelated to the 1950's harp player Robert Maxwell, the photographer Robert Maxwell, or the country guitarist Robert Maxwell Case... Maxwell was a Member of Parliament for the Labour Party from 1964-70.
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