Robert Maxwell Net Worth & Biography


Robert Maxwell Net Worth & Biography

Popular Name: Robert Maxwell
Real Name: Ján Ludvík Hyman Binyamin Hoch
Birth Date: 10 June 1923
Birth Place:
Slatinské Doly, Czechoslovakia (now Solotvyno, Ukraine)
Age: Died on 5 November 1991 (aged 68)
Gender: Male
Nationality/Citizenship: Czechoslovak, British
Height: N/A
Weight: N/A
Sexuality: Straight
Marital Status: Married
Elisabeth Meynard ​(m. 1945)
Children: 9
Profession: Businessman, Investor, Publisher, Media Proprietor
Years active: N/A
Net Worth: $1 Billion
Last Updated: 2021

Let’s talk about Robert Maxwell, the renowned British media proprietor who built a massive international publishing empire and lived as one of the richest people in Great Britain until his unfortunate demise 30 years ago. Bob ran multiple lucrative businesses, including a publishing business that included the Mirror Group Newspapers and New York Daily News. Earlier in his life, he had escaped Nazi occupation in his country and joined Czechoslovak Army in exile at the height of the Second World War, after which he became a decorated war hero. Later on, he made his way into Britain’s politics and had a spell as a Labor MP from 1964 to 1970. Robert was a controversial figure and lived most of his life as a tough and arrogant businessman who always had many scandals to deal with, including owing many debts and allegedly being an Israeli spy. More details are in the article below.

Early Life: Childhood, Education

He was born in the village of Slatinské Doly in Czechoslovakia on 10 June 1923 as Ján Ludvík Hyman Binyamin Hoch. His place of birth is now known as Solotvyno and is in Ukraine.

Robert was born into a poor Jewish family that included the six siblings of his parents, Mechel Hoch and Hannah Slomowitz. Because things were tough for the family, Robert received limited education.

In 1944, Robert’s parents, four siblings, and countless relatives died in the Nazi Holocaust, however, he wasn’t affected, probably because he had already left Czechoslovakia.

Professional Life: Business Career

In 1939, he joined the Czech resistance to fight the Nazis who were persecuting Jews. Later, he moved to France where he became a member of the Czechoslovak Army in exile. After the fall of France, he moved to Great Britain in 1940 and joined the British army. He changed his name to Ian Robert Maxwell, participated in several wars across Europe, earned a promotion to the rank of captain, and received a ‘Military Cross’ honor for his service. After the war ended, he spent a brief period working for the British foreign office before opening his first business with the assistance of his friends in the army. He became the British and United States distributor for the “Springer Verlag” scientific books publisher, and when this business started to prosper, he purchased a major stake in a small publishing company in 1951. The company’s name was initially Butterworth-Springer but Robert renamed it Pergamon Press and ran it to publish technical journals written by academics and scientists which were in demand and faced little competition. Pergamon Press became very successful and soon started began acquiring other small publishers. It went public in 1964 and made Robert Maxwell a multimillionaire. Before this time, he had already joined politics in 1958 and was elected MP as a member of the Labour Party in 1964.

In 1968-1969, Maxwell’s bid to buy the weekly newspaper, News of the World, proved unsuccessful as the owner didn’t want a Czechoslovak immigrant with leftist views to gain control. The newspaper eventually went to fellow businessman Rupert Murdoch. This was the beginning of a longstanding rivalry between Maxwell and Murdoch. That same year, Murdoch also won control of another publishing house which Maxwell wanted to buy.

Maxwell acquired control of British Printing Corporation (BPC), and renamed it the British Printing and Communication Corporation (BPCC) and then later, Maxwell Communications Corporation. He turned the company’s fortune around positively and sold it back to its former owners in 1987. He then acquired the Mirror Group Newspapers, comprising 6 leading British newspapers (including Daily Mirror), and this move further intensified the media conflict with Rupert Murdoch. Furthermore, he purchased the Oxford United football club served as its chairman and also helped the club win the League Cup in 1986. A year later, he acquired another football club Derby County.

By the end of the 1980s, Robert Maxwell owned and controlled various other companies like Prentice Hall Information Services, Nimbus Records, and Maxwell Directories. He had a share in European MTV and also made investments in British cable television. Likewise, he invested in several businesses in the United States by acquiring Official Airline Guides, Berlitz International language instruction, and Macmillan book publishers. His company became the second-biggest printing concern in the United States with his son, Kevin as Chief executive officer.

Robert Maxwell Net Worth
Media Mogul, Robert Maxwell

Personal Life: Family, Spouse, Children

In 1945, Robert Maxwell got married to a French protestant Elisabeth Meynard. Their marriage was one that was built to last and they had nine children together.

He lived a lavish lifestyle complete with a luxury yacht, Lady Ghislaine, a helicopter, and a stately home in Headington Hill Hall, Oxford.

His luxury yacht, the Lady Ghislaine, was named after his daughter Ghislaine Maxwell. Years after Robert’s passing, Ghislaine Maxwell would be indicted of acting as a madame for the late financier Jeffrey Epstein. It was alleged that Ghislaine would procure underage women for Epstein to molest and rape. It was also disclosed that she helped Jeffrey meet figures like Prince Andrew and Bill Clinton.

Unfortunate Passing

In November 1991, the businessman died after falling from his yacht around the Canary Island area. The following day, his body was found in the Atlantic Ocean, and he was later buried in Jerusalem on the Mount of Olives.

Robert’s death caused extensive speculation whether it was murder, suicide, or accident. Though pathologists didn’t reach a consensus as to the precise cause of death, the official pronouncement was death by heart attack and accidental drowning.

His extensive business ambition resulted in huge debts and he had to sell off several of his companies to pay back during the early 1990s. It was discovered after his demise that his companies were debt-ridden and to save his empire, Robert had, without approval, used resources from his company’s employee pension funds. Though the government contributed money, affected pensioners ultimately received only half the total sums they were actually entitled to.

His company filed for bankruptcy while his son Kevin was affirmed to be bankrupt. His two sons- Kevin and Ian – faced trials for conspiracy to defraud, but were cleared of any charges against them in 1996.

During his life, Robert Maxwell invested heavily in Israel and was mistrusted and assumed by many to be an Israeli intelligence asset. Though, he blatantly denied the allegations. However, speculations about this continued once more when he received a big funeral in Israel which noted the attendance of heads of Israeli intelligence, the then Prime Minister, and President.

Robert Maxwell Net Worth: Salary, Income Sources, Assets, Real Estate

The late British media proprietor made most of his wealth from the numerous companies and businesses he owned from Europe to America. He rose up from extreme poverty and built his extensive business empire that ultimately crashed under the weight of massive debt. After escaping from Nazi occupation during World War II, he launched his career in business and politics, built up Pergamon Press, and became a Member of Parliament for Buckingham for almost six years from October 1964 to June 1970. He purchased several publishing and media companies in Britain and in the United States and also ran several businesses in Israel, all of which contributed to his huge fortunes.

At the time of his demise in 1991, Robert Maxwell’s net worth was said to be $1 billion. He would be surely remembered for his loud and flamboyant lifestyle which included several luxury houses, cars, a yacht, and a helicopter. At the peak of his reign in business, Robert Maxwell’s net worth reached $1.9 billion. However, after his death, his companies owed as much as $4 billion in debt.

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