May 30, 2021
Conrad Black - in full,
Conrad Moffat Black, Lord Black of Crossharbour - was born in 1944,
in Montreal. He is an author, columnist, historian, and businessman
who built the third largest newspaper group in the world during the
1980s and 1990s. At its height the organization controlled nearly
250 newspapers including the London Daily Telegraph, the Fairfax
Group in Australia, The Jerusalem Post, Southam Press in Canada,
and the Chicago Sun-Times.
Black studied history and political
science at Carleton University in Ottawa, earned a law degree from
Laval University in 1970, and a Masters degree in history from
McGill University in 1973. For his thesis he wrote a biography of
former Quebec premier Maurice Duplessis; published in 1977, it came
to be considered a definitive work.
He entered the newspaper business in
1967 as part owner of two small Quebec weeklies, on the way to
establishing his media empire. He currently lives in Toronto with
his wife Barbara Amiel.
We met via Zoom to talk about his
various book and model ship collections, Napoleon, Roosevelt, his
collecting habits, and his long-term fulfilling relationship with
books. First off however he vigorously defends himself against
charges that were successfully levelled against him by U.S. federal
prosecutors in the mid-2000s.