Back in the Seventies and Eighties I founded and ran several Fleet Street photo agencies specialising in stock images of celebrities from pop stars to politicians. These were syndicated to the National and International press and Television. These days I am active in the Microstock world and this blog charts my journey as well as, hopefully, providing inspiration and ideas to others. Image buyers should also find this blog useful with links to my portfolios and regular updates on new uploads. Unless otherwise stated all images are my copyright and may not be reproduced or copied. Comments are very welcome but will be reviewed before publication. Enjoy your visit. Regards, David.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Robert Maxwell - Twentieth anniversary of his death

On the 5th November it will be the twentieth anniversary of the death of British media tycoon Robert Maxwell.

Born Jan Ludvick Hoch in Czechoslovakia he later became a Captain in the British army adopting the name Ian Robert Maxwell. The nickname "Captain Bob" derives from that. Postwar saw him building up a business empire mainly based in the printing and publishing area.

He also served as a Labour party Member of Parliament for Buckingham for several years.

By the time of his death he had built up or aquired a wealth of media interests spanning newspapers, books, cable etc and was an arch (business) rival to Rupert Murdoch. Here in Britain he was best known as owner of Mirror Group Newspapers -publishers of numerous National and Regional newspapers, most obviously the Daily Mirror itself. New publications he launched included the weekly European newspaper and London evening newspaper the London Daily News (neither still exist).

I only met him once, a few months before his death, at a photo call in London (pictured) though "met" is probaly a bit off the mark as I recall the conversation consisted of "This way Mr. Maxwell!".

On the day his death (found floating in the Atlantic off the Canary Islands after supposedly falling off his yacht) was announced I knew something was up when I walked past the Holborn headquarters of Mirror Group to find it surrounded by hundreds of journalists and film crews.

In the following days it emerged that his empire was heavily in debt and that Maxwell had taken millions from the pension fund of Mirror Group employees to try and prop up the falling share price.

The past twenty years have thrown up a whole host of conspiracy theories about his death -leading to numerous books, a BBC television drama and even a stage play.

Whatever his wrongs, he was certainly a fascinating and powerful figure in the British media and I am glad to have had the opportunity to photograph him. Regards, David.

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