Paul Raymond, English publisher, Died at 82

Dead, Paul Raymond on the 2nd of March 2008 at the age 82, he was an English publisher, club owner, and property developer.

Born and raised in Liverpool on the 15th of November 1925, he attended St. Francis Xavier’s College.

The outbreak of World War II prompted relocation to Glossop, Derbyshire, where he was educated by the Irish Christian Brothers.

Leaving school at 15, he was a Manchester Ship Canal office boy before taking up the drums with dance bands.

Feigning a heart condition, he avoided imprisonment for evading National Service instead served as a switchboard operator and bandsman all the while a self-confessed spiv selling nylons and petrol coupons on the black market.

According to Raymond’s biographer, Paul Willetts, Raymond’s Revuebar initially attracted a “chic clientele”, including the actor John Mills and comedian Peter Sellers.

The seedy reputation of the club led to regular clashes with the authorities about show content.

In 1961, Raymond was fined £5,000 following a magistrate’s decision that permitting members to ring the Ding Dong Girl’s bells constituted an “unruly house”.

There was also the issue about an on stage performer swallowing a snake earning an official reputation as “filthy, disgusting and beastly”.

Raymond diversified, investing millions into buildings and other property, especially in Soho starting in the 1970s, through his company, Soho Estates.

During 1977, he was buying one Soho freehold each week, and also acquired property in Chelsea, Kensington and Hampstead.

He was a frequent name on lists of the UK’s wealthy reportedly with an estimated £650 million by the time of his death (one associate claimed the estate was worth billions), and Forbes placed him on its list of US dollar billionaires.

Often dubbed by the press ‘King of Soho’, he was the target of two extortion attempts, released Metropolitan Police papers in October 2010 disclosed.

The second attempt, presumed the IRA, were decorators threatening Raymond with bombing and shooting.

By 1994, rumours of cancer had begun and he appointed Joe Daniel, a Barclays banker, as his managing director.

In 1997, he sold the name and the business of his Revuebar, and a 20-year lease on its buildings, to Gerard Simi, a former Marseilles Ballet dancer, who for 21 years had been his chief choreographer.

At around the same time he unsuccessfully applied to a court for a reduction in the £108 a week he paid for the upkeep of a son by a former lover, reinforcing the negative side of his reputation.

Following Raymond’s death, the US arm of the company was sold to Magna Publishing Group; the UK arm was sold to private investors that formed Tri Active Media Ltd. holding it for about 3 years.

Paul Chaplin bought (6 October 2012) Paul Raymond Publications for an undisclosed sum, and reunited it with Loaded and Superbike magazines under the newly formed Blue Active Media Ltd.

The latter acquisition provided capital to focus rejuvenation of Paul Raymond brand publications to their heyday.

He fathered three children, Howard and Debbie by his wife, Jean, and another son, Derry, through an earlier relationship, although the two had little contact.