Conrad Black

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Conrad Moffat Black (born 25 August, 1944 in Montreal, Canada) is a prominent Canadian conservative. Black is a former newspaper magnate who made his fortune by buying money-losing newspapers and making them profitable. At his peak Black owned 400 newspaper titles in North America, the UK, Australia and Israel through his Ravelston Corporation and Hollinger Inc. Most of these were sold to Israel Asper's CanWest Global Communications Corp. in the late 1990s, including conservative-leaning newspapers such as the National Post, Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, Calgary Herald, and Vancouver Sun. Conrad Black holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Carleton University, a law degree from Laval University, and a Master's degree in history from McGill University.

In 2000, Conrad Black threw a surprise 60th birthday party for his wife, Barbara Amiel, at a cost of $US 62,869.57. Attendees included Michael Bloomberg, Henry Kravis, Donald Trump, Donald Laude, Mort Zuckerman, A. Alfred Taubman, Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, Henry Kissinger (whom once served as director of Hollinger Inc.), Barbara Walters, William McDonough, Robert Silvers, Midge Rosenthal, Jeffrey Epstein, and Richard Perle. This was one example party in addition to lavish mansions in Toronto, London, New York City and Palm Springs led to questions about how Black used the Hollinger expense accounts.

Black renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2001 in order to become a life peer in the British House of Lords, named Lord Black of Crossharbour. In early 2004, Hollinger International removed Black as its chairman and launched a $200-million US lawsuit against him. In 2007 further charges were laid around "non-compete" payments made directly to Black, that he would not start a new newspaper in markets where he had just sold a newspaper. Most purchasers felt these payments were not necessary, and stockholders felt the money should go directly to Hollinger shareholders.

On July 13th 2007 Conrad Black was convicted in Chicago, Illinois on charges of fraud and obstruction of justice. He was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison for his role in the misappropriation of millions of dollars from the newspaper empire once owned. He was also fined $125,000 US. Black's lawyers have vowed an appeal. Black entered the Coleman Federal Correction Complex, near Orlando, Florida on the 4th of March, 2008.

Books

Conrad Black: A Life in Progress (1993, autobiography)
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Champion of Freedom (2003)
The Invincible Quest: the Life of Richard Milhous Nixon (2003)

References

Conrad Black: Timeline, CBC.
Surprise party cost no mere truffle, Andrew Clark, Sydney Morning Herald.
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