Monday, 23 June 2014

Felix Dennis. Publisher 1947-2014

Felix Dennis, undoubtedly one of the biggest personalities in British publishing died peacefully yesterday, with his loved ones surrounding him. He finally succumbed to cancer.

After leaving Harrow College of Art in the late 1960's , Dennis became co-editor of Oz, an underground counter culture magazine. Dennis found himself involved in the notorious Old Bailey conspiracy trial against Oz in 1971 for which he was acquitted on appeal after having been imprisoned. He also recorded a single with John Lennon to help fund the court case!

Felix Dennis. Photograph by Lucinda Batchelor 2012
In 1973 Felix Dennis launched Dennis Publishing which pioneered personal computer magazine publishing in the USA and the UK and in 1995 founded Maxim which became the world's biggest selling men's lifestyle magazine. Today, the business is responsible for publishing over 50 magazines, websites and mobile sites, including The Week, Men’s Fitness, evo, Auto Express, PC Pro, Octane and Viz. He didn't limit his opportunities to just publishing, he also co-founded a $2.5 billion computer mail order company called MicroWarehouse. More recently, he transformed Dennis Publishing from a traditional ink-on-paper publisher into a multi-platform content provider with over 250,000 people visiting its websites every day.

In 2008 he rescued one of the last colour book printers in the UK, Butler and Tanner, with it's name changed to Butler Tanner & Dennis, it survived until earlier this year (now in administration). I wrote about BT&D, previously on this blog:

More recently Felix Dennis has been a poet. He has written severally critically acclaimed anthologies and been on the road performing his poetry. He has also been a great philanthropist, as you might expect from someone ranked 134th on the Sunday Times Rich list. and he also planted lots and lots of trees.

Although I never met him, I understand that he was an exceedingly nice guy. A full life well lived.
Posted by Justin Hobson 23.06.2014

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment! If I like it, I'll add it on. Cheers J