79 Facts About Conrad Black


Conrad Black's father was businessman George Montegu Black II, who had significant holdings in Canadian manufacturing, retail and media businesses through part-ownership of the holding company Ravelston Corporation.


Conrad Black controlled Hollinger International, once the world's third-largest English-language newspaper empire, which published The Daily Telegraph, Chicago Sun-Times, The Jerusalem Post, National Post, and hundreds of community newspapers in North America, before controversy erupted over the sale of some of the company's assets.


Conrad Black was granted a peerage in 2001 and because of the Nickle Resolution, which bans British honours for Canadian citizens, gave up his Canadian citizenship in order to accept the title.


Conrad Black is a longtime columnist and author, including having written a column for the National Post since he founded it in 1998.


Conrad Black has written eleven books, mostly in the fields of Canadian and American history, including biographies of Quebec premier Maurice Duplessis and US presidents Franklin D Roosevelt, Richard Nixon and Donald Trump, as well as two memoirs.


Conrad Black has hosted two interview shows on the Canadian cable network VisionTV.


Conrad Black is a political conservative, and belonged to the UK's Conservative Party, but has some idiosyncratic views, including his support for Roosevelt's New Deal.


Conrad Black was born in Montreal, Quebec, to a family originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba.


Conrad Black's mother was the former Jean Elizabeth Riley, a daughter of Conrad Stephenson Riley, whose father founded The Great-West Life Assurance Company, and a great-granddaughter of an early co-owner of The Daily Telegraph.


Conrad Black's father was a shareholder in The Daily Telegraph.


The Conrad Black family maintains a family plot at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto where Conrad Black's parents and brother are buried along with his good friend and his wife's former husband, journalist, poet and broadcaster, George Jonas.


Conrad Black was sent by his father to a prestigious preparatory school, Upper Canada College, where he was first educated.


Conrad Black, confided to his fellow student John Fraser, a future renowned foreign correspondent for the Globe and Mail and later the editor of Saturday Night, that the place felt like a concentration camp, but most of the students were oblivious to the harsh reality.


Conrad Black then attended Trinity College School in Port Hope, where he lasted less than a year, being expelled for insubordinate behaviour.


Conrad Black attended Toronto's Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, but his studies ended after he failed his first year exams.


Conrad Black had been granted access to Duplessis' papers, housed in Duplessis' former residence in Trois-Rivieres, which included "figures from the famous Union Nationale caisse electorale, a copy of the Leader of the Opposition's tax returns, [and] gossip from bishops", as well as.


Conrad Black subsequently had the principal items from the papers copied and microfilmed, and he donated copies to McGill, York, and Windsor universities.


Conrad Black had a dispensation to receive the sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church, from Cardinals Leger and Carter, starting in 1974.


Conrad Black developed a close friendship with Cardinal Carter and relied on him as a spiritual advisor.


Conrad Black was intellectual but practical, spiritual but not sanctimonious or utopian, proud but never arrogant.


Conrad Black must have had faults, but I never detected any.


Conrad Black was a great man, yet the salt of the earth.


In 2001, Conrad Black was invested as a Knight Commander of the Order of St Gregory the Great, a Papal order of chivalry awarded by Pope John Paul II and delivered by Cardinals Carter and Aloysius Ambrozic.


Conrad Black has written that his faith helped him endure his imprisonment in the United States.


Conrad Black is a major shareholder in The Catholic Herald, and was the vice-president of Leger's charity from 1972 to 1990.


Conrad Black became involved in a number of businesses, mainly publishing newspapers, starting when he was still in university.


In 1966, Conrad Black bought his first newspaper, the Eastern Townships Advertiser in Quebec.


Conrad Black succeeded his father as a director of Dominion Stores and Standard Broadcasting, owner of radio stations CFRB and CJAD, and television station CJOH.


Conrad Black became a director of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in 1977.


Conrad Black recorded that the widows "understood and approved every letter of every word of the agreement".


Conrad Black brought in new partners to replace Mrs McDougal and her sister Mrs W Eric Philips.


Conrad Black resigned as Chairman of Massey Ferguson company on 23 May 1980, after which Argus donated its shares to the employees' pension funds, both salaried and union.


Conrad Black subsequently was charged by the SEC with filing misleading public statements.


Over time, Conrad Black focused the formerly diverse activities of his companies on newspaper publishing.


Conrad Black supervised the divesting of interests in manufacturing, retailing, broadcasting and ultimately oil, gas and mining.


Foreign-ownership laws prevented Conrad Black from acquiring a majority stake, but he had effective control of the company.


Conrad Black sold his share to a New Zealand investment firm in 1996 for $513 million, a reported $300 million profit.


Conrad Black subsequently complained about Australia's "capricious and politicized foreign ownership rules".


Under Conrad Black, Hollinger launched the National Post in Toronto in 1998.


Conrad Black agreed to the demand but citing such fees was standard procedure in the newspaper industry and had been requested by buyers and had been properly disclosed.


Conrad Black made an agreement with Breeden, shortly after the unsigned status of the two non-compete agreements came to light, by which he would remain as Chairman, but temporarily vacate the position of Chief Executive, pending verification that he, Conrad Black, had known nothing of these problems, which were handled by the company's counsel, and occurred in Radler's American Publishing division.


Conrad Black resigned from the board of Hollinger in 2005, and many of Hollinger International's assets ended up being sold at prices significantly lower than those contemplated in uncompleted negotiations while Conrad Black was with the company.


The criminal sanctions on Conrad Black not overturned were for removing 13 boxes of paper from his office a few days before he had to move offices under the gaze of security cameras he had installed, and for receiving US$285,000 as a non-compete payment that was approved by the independent director and publicly disclosed, but where the company secretary had neglected, in what the trial judge considered to be a clerical oversight, to have signed by the parties.


Conrad Black co-hosted a weekly talk show, The Zoomer, which premiered 7 October 2013 on VisionTV in Canada, and ran for two years.


Conrad Black interviewed Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, and Justin Trudeau who went on respectively to be President of the United States, British Prime Minister, and Prime Minister of Canada; and interviewed Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party.


From January 2015 through 2016, Black hosted Conversations with Conrad, a series on VisionTV in which Black conducted long-form one-on-one interviews with notable figures such as Margaret Atwood, Brian Mulroney, Rick Mercer, Barry Humphries and Michael Coren.


Conrad Black has disclosed his intention to remain and perhaps reacquire.


Conrad Black has always denied that he spent more than his income and position justified.


Conrad Black has called claims that his wife charged personal expenses to a corporate account, including US$2,463 for handbags, $2,785 for opera tickets, and $140 for Amiel's "jogging attire" fiction and has pointed out that they were never alleged at trial.


Conrad Black is a former Steering Committee member of the Bilderberg Group.


Conrad Black was convicted on three counts of fraud and one count of obstruction of justice in US District Court in Chicago on 13 July 2007.


Conrad Black was initially found guilty of diverting funds for personal benefit from money due to Hollinger International, and of other irregularities.


Conrad Black was found guilty of one charge of obstruction of justice.


Conrad Black's lawyers filed an application for bail pending the appeals court's review.


Conrad Black was under no compulsion to make this disclosure as he had initiated the appeal for a bail variation of his own volition.


On 17 December 2010, Conrad Black lost an appeal as to fact and law on his remaining convictions for fraud and obstruction of justice.


On 30 June 2011, Conrad Black published an article for the National Review Online that provided his scathing view of the legal case, detailing it as a miscarriage of justice and an "unaccountable and often lawless prosecution".


Conrad Black continues to maintain his innocence, and has likened the United States justice system to that of North Korea.


Conrad Black has publicly stated that he is proud to have been "sent to prison for crimes I would never dream of committing, for having fought it out as well as anyone could, and for making the best I could of a bad situation".


Until 21 July 2010, Conrad Black was incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution in Sumter County, Florida, a part of Federal Correctional Complex, Coleman.


Conrad Black described US inmates as an "ostracized, voiceless legion of the walking dead".


Conrad Black did not return to the Federal Correctional Institution in Coleman, Florida.


Conrad Black was released from prison on 4 May 2012.


Conrad Black, who had renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2001 as a result of Conrad Black v Chretien, was granted a one-year temporary resident permit to live in Canada in March 2012 when he was still serving his sentence.


Conrad Black was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1990.


In 2011, after Conrad Black returned to prison due to the failure of his appeal, Rideau Hall, the seat of the Chancellery of Honours, confirmed that the honour accorded to Conrad Black was under review by the order's Advisory Council, which has the power to recommend "the termination of a person's appointment to the Order of Canada if the person has been convicted of a criminal offence".


Once the review process started, Conrad Black submitted a written application in defence of keeping his place in the Order of Canada, but failed in his efforts to persuade the Advisory Council he should appear before them to defend his case orally.


Conrad Black took the matter to the Federal Court of Canada, which ruled that the council had no obligation to change its regular review process simply to accommodate Conrad Black.


The Washington Post noted, "In addition to his book, Conrad Black frequently writes columns praising Trump and considers the president a friend".


Conrad Black applied to have the proceedings dismissed on the grounds that he was already voluntarily refraining from being an officer or director of an Ontario corporation and undertaken to ask the approval of the OSC if he ever desired to become a director or officer of an Ontario public company.


In February 2015 the OSC placed a permanent ban on Conrad Black being a director or officer of a publicly traded company in Ontario, but declined to restrict his right to trade.


Conrad Black referred to the case in his column in the National Post on 8 March 2015, stating that the OSC did not come to the subject with clean hands, having "vaporized" hundreds of millions of dollars of shareholder's equity in 2005 when it blocked Conrad Black's bid to privatize Hollinger Inc.


On 14 June 2019, the Tax Court of Canada ruled that Conrad Black is entitled to deduct interest expenses on a $32.3 million loan he used to satisfy judgments against himself and Hollinger International.


Conrad Black would sit as a Conservative peer, and his name had been put forward by the then-Conservative leader William Hague.


Conrad Black pointed out that the Nickle Resolution referred to Canadian resident citizens, not dual citizens living in the UK, and was not binding; but when Blair said the Queen would prefer not to choose between the conflicting recommendations of two prime ministers of countries of which she was the monarch, Conrad Black asked that the matter be deferred.


Conrad Black litigated in Canada, claiming that Chretien had no jurisdiction to create a class of citizen in another country, consisting of one person, ineligible to receive an honour in that country for services deemed to have been rendered in that country, because of the objections of the Canadian Prime Minister of the day.


Later in 2001, after the Ontario Superior Court and Court of Appeal had ruled that they had no jurisdiction in this area, Conrad Black renounced his Canadian citizenship, remaining a United Kingdom citizen, which allowed him to accept the peerage without further controversy.


Conrad Black sat as a life peer on the Conservative benches until 2007, when he withdrew from the Conservative group of peers following his conviction in the United States.


Conrad Black was on leave of absence from the House of Lords from June 2012 until 2019.