Conrad Black
Conrad Moffat Black, Baron Black of Crossharbour, OC
Order of Canada
The Order of Canada is a Canadian national order, admission into which is, within the system of orders, decorations, and medals of Canada, the second highest honour for merit...

Order of St. Gregory the Great
The Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great , was established on September 1, 1831, by Pope Gregory XVI, seven months after his election.It is one of the five orders of knighthood of the Holy See...

, PC
Queen's Privy Council for Canada
The Queen's Privy Council for Canada ), sometimes called Her Majesty's Privy Council for Canada or simply the Privy Council, is the full group of personal consultants to the monarch of Canada on state and constitutional affairs, though responsible government requires the sovereign or her viceroy,...

 (born August 25, 1944) is a Canadian-born member of the British House of Lords, and a historian
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

, columnist
A columnist is a journalist who writes for publication in a series, creating an article that usually offers commentary and opinions. Columns appear in newspapers, magazines and other publications, including blogs....

 and publisher, who was for a time the third largest newspaper magnate in the world. Lord Black controlled Hollinger International
Sun-Times Media Group
Sun-Times Media Group is a Chicago-based newspaper publisher. It is known for its prior association with controversial Canadian businessman Conrad Black.-History:...

, Inc. Through affiliates, the company published major newspapers including The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph is a daily morning broadsheet newspaper distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. The newspaper was founded by Arthur B...

(UK), Chicago Sun Times (U.S.), Jerusalem Post (Israel), National Post
National Post
The National Post is a Canadian English-language national newspaper based in Don Mills, a district of Toronto. The paper is owned by Postmedia Network Inc. and is published Mondays through Saturdays...

(Canada), and hundreds of community newspapers in North America.

He was convicted of fraud
In criminal law, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual; the related adjective is fraudulent. The specific legal definition varies by legal jurisdiction. Fraud is a crime, and also a civil law violation...

 in a US court in 2007 and sentenced to six and a half years' imprisonment. On July 19, 2010 Black was granted bail. The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned two of the three remaining mail fraud counts in October of that year. On June 24, 2011 he was resentenced on one remaining count of mail fraud and one count of obstruction of justice
Obstruction of justice
The crime of obstruction of justice, in United States jurisdictions, refers to the crime of interfering with the work of police, investigators, regulatory agencies, prosecutors, or other officials...

 to a prison term of 42 months and a fine of US$125,000. As the 29 months Black has served is included in this sentence, he returned to prison on September 6, 2011, to serve his remaining term of thirteen months.

Early life and family

Black was born in Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

, Quebec, Canada, to a wealthy family originally from Winnipeg
Winnipeg is the capital and largest city of Manitoba, Canada, and is the primary municipality of the Winnipeg Capital Region, with more than half of Manitoba's population. It is located near the longitudinal centre of North America, at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers .The name...

, Manitoba. His father, George Montegu Black, Jr.
George Montegu Black II
George Montegu Black II to George Montegu Black Sr and Gertrude Maxwell Black was a Winnipeg business man and President of Canadian Breweries...

, C.A.
Chartered Accountant
Chartered Accountants were the first accountants to form a professional body, initially established in Britain in 1854. The Edinburgh Society of Accountants , the Glasgow Institute of Accountants and Actuaries and the Aberdeen Society of Accountants were each granted a royal charter almost from...

, was the president of Canadian Breweries Limited
Canadian Breweries Limited
Canadian Breweries Limited was an Ontario based holding company in the brewery industry. Originally named Brewing Corporation of Ontario, E. P. Taylor created the company in 1930 by merging Bradings Breweries Limited , and Capital Brewing of Ottawa and Kuntz Brewery of Waterloo, Ontario...

, an international brewing conglomerate
Conglomerate (company)
A conglomerate is a combination of two or more corporations engaged in entirely different businesses that fall under one corporate structure , usually involving a parent company and several subsidiaries. Often, a conglomerate is a multi-industry company...

 that had earlier absorbed Winnipeg Breweries (founded by George Black Sr.). 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
Great-West Life Assurance
The Great-West Life Assurance Company is a life insurance company...

, and a great-granddaughter of an early co-owner of the Daily Telegraph.

Biographer George Toombs said of Black's motivations: "he was born into a very large family of athletic, handsome people. He wasn't particularly athletic or handsome like they were, so he developed a different skill – wordplay, which he practised a lot with his father."


Black was first educated at Upper Canada College
Upper Canada College
Upper Canada College , located in midtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is an independent elementary and secondary school for boys between Senior Kindergarten and Grade Twelve, operating under the International Baccalaureate program. The secondary school segment is divided into ten houses; eight are...

 (UCC), during which time, at age 8, he invested his life savings of $60 in one share
Share (finance)
A joint stock company divides its capital into units of equal denomination. Each unit is called a share. These units are offered for sale to raise capital. This is termed as issuing shares. A person who buys share/shares of the company is called a shareholder, and by acquiring share or shares in...

 of General Motors
General Motors
General Motors Company , commonly known as GM, formerly incorporated as General Motors Corporation, is an American multinational automotive corporation headquartered in Detroit, Michigan and the world's second-largest automaker in 2010...

. Six years later, according to Tom Bower's biography Dancing on the Edge, he was expelled from UCC for selling stolen exam papers. He then attended Trinity College School
Trinity College School
Trinity College School is a coeducational, independent boarding/day school located in Port Hope, Ontario, Canada. TCS was founded on May 1, 1865, more than 2 years prior to Canadian Confederation. It includes a Senior School for grades 9 to 12 and a Junior School for grades 5 to 8.Among its...

 where he lasted less than a year, being expelled for insubordinate behaviour
Insubordination is the act of willfully disobeying an authority. Refusing to perform an action that is unethical or illegal is not insubordination; neither is refusing to perform an action that is not within the scope of authority of the person issuing the order.Insubordination is typically a...

. Black eventually graduated from a small, now defunct, private school in Toronto called Thornton Hall
Thornton Hall
Thornton Hall Private School was an incorporated Canadian co-educational private high school that operated for half a century from 1948 to 1997. It was founded by Stuart E...

, continuing on to post-secondary education at Carleton University
Carleton University
Carleton University is a comprehensive university located in the capital of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario. The enabling legislation is The Carleton University Act, 1952, S.O. 1952. Founded as a small college in 1942, Carleton now offers over 65 programs in a diverse range of disciplines. Carleton has...

 (History, 1965). For a time, he attended Toronto's Osgoode Hall Law School
Osgoode Hall Law School
Osgoode Hall Law School is a Canadian law school, located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and affiliated with York University. Named after the first Chief Justice of Ontario, William Osgoode, the law school was established by The Law Society of Upper Canada in 1889 and was the only accredited law...

 of York University
York University
York University is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is Canada's third-largest university, Ontario's second-largest graduate school, and Canada's leading interdisciplinary university....

; however, his studies ended after he failed his first year exams. He completed a law degree at Université Laval
Université Laval
Laval University is the oldest centre of education in Canada and was the first institution in North America to offer higher education in French...

 (Law, 1970), and in 1973 completed a Master of Arts
Master of Arts (postgraduate)
A Master of Arts from the Latin Magister Artium, is a type of Master's degree awarded by universities in many countries. The M.A. is usually contrasted with the M.S. or M.Sc. degrees...

 degree in history at McGill University
McGill University
Mohammed Fathy is a public research university located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The university bears the name of James McGill, a prominent Montreal merchant from Glasgow, Scotland, whose bequest formed the beginning of the university...

. Black's thesis, later published as a biography, was on Quebec premier Maurice Duplessis
Maurice Duplessis
Maurice Le Noblet Duplessis served as the 16th Premier of the Canadian province of Quebec from 1936 to 1939 and 1944 to 1959. A founder and leader of the highly conservative Union Nationale party, he rose to power after exposing the misconduct and patronage of Liberal Premier Louis-Alexandre...



Black's first marriage was in 1978 to Joanna Hishon of Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

, who worked as a secretary in his brother Montegu's brokerage office. The couple had two sons and a daughter.
The couple separated in 1991. Their divorce was finalized in 1992; the same year Black married Watford
Watford is a town and borough in Hertfordshire, England, situated northwest of central London and within the bounds of the M25 motorway. The borough is separated from Greater London to the south by the urbanised parish of Watford Rural in the Three Rivers District.Watford was created as an urban...

-born journalist Barbara Amiel
Barbara Amiel
Barbara Joan Estelle Amiel, Baroness Black of Crossharbour is a British-Canadian journalist, writer, and socialite. She is also the wife of former media baron and convicted felon Conrad Black.-Early life:...

. Black flattered Amiel, describing her variously as "beautiful, brilliant, ideologically a robust spirit" and "chic, humorous and preternaturally sexy". Courtroom evidence revealed that the couple exchanged over 11,000 emails.


"My family," Black wrote in 2009, "was divided between atheism
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities...

 and agnosticism
Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—is unknown or unknowable....

, and I followed rather unthinkingly and inactively in those paths into my 20s." By his early 30s, however, he "no longer had any confidence in the non-existence of God." Thereafter, he "approached Rome at a snail's pace," and was finally received into the Catholic Church on June 18, 1986.


Black became involved in a number of businesses, mainly publishing newspapers, and briefly in mining. In 1966, Black bought his first newspaper, the Eastern Townships Advertiser in Quebec. Following the foundation, as an investment vehicle, of the Ravelston Corporation
Ravelston Corporation Limited
Ravelston Corporation Limited is a Canadian holding company that was largely controlled by Conrad Black and business partner David Radler. It held shares in Black's other holding companies, such as Hollinger International, now known as Sun-Times Media Group. The Toronto-based private company had...

 by the Black family in 1969, Black, together with friends David Radler
David Radler
F. David Radler is a Canadian executive and close associate of Conrad Black for 36 years. Radler was once president of Ravelston Corporation, a privately owned corporation owned by Black and Radler to control their former newspaper empire. Ravelston owned Argus Corporation which in turn...

 and Peter G. White, purchased and operated the Sherbrooke Record
The Record (Sherbrooke)
The Record is the only daily English language newspaper based in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. It serves the Eastern Townships region of that province....

, the small English language daily in Sherbrooke, Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

. In 1971, the three formed Sterling Newspapers Limited, a holding company that would acquire several other small Canadian regional newspapers.

Corporate ownership through holding companies

George Black died in June 1976, leaving Conrad Black and his older brother, Montegu, a 22.4% stake in Ravelston Corporation, which by then owned 61% voting control of Argus Corporation, an influential holding company in Canada. Argus controlled large stakes in 7 major Canadian corporations, Labrador Mining, Noranda Mines, Hollinger Mines
Hollinger Mines
The Hollinger Gold Mine was founded by Benny Hollinger in Timmins, Ontario, and in 1910 the company was incorporated by Noah Timmins and partners. The main Hollinger Mine operated from 1910 until 1968. During that period 65,778,234 tons were milled, producing 19,327,691 ounces of gold,...

, Standard Broadcasting
Standard Broadcasting
Slaight Communications is a Canadian radio broadcasting company. The company was first formed as Slaight Broadcasting in 1971, when owner J. Allan Slaight acquired CFGM in Richmond Hill...

, Dominion Stores, Domtar
Domtar Corporation is the largest integrated producer of uncoated freesheet paper in North America and the second largest in the world based on production capacity, and is also a manufacturer of papergrade pulp....

 and Massey-Ferguson.

Through his father's holdings in Ravelston, Black gained early association with two of Canada's most prominent businessmen: Bud McDougald
John A. McDougald
John Angus "Bud" McDougald was a leading Canadian businessman and owner of Thoroughbred racehorses.Born in Toronto, Ontario, he was universally known by the nickname, "Bud". The son of a wealthy investment banker, after working as a stockbroker for Dominion Securities, in 1945 Bud McDougald...

 and E. P. Taylor
E. P. Taylor
Edward Plunket Taylor was a Canadian business tycoon and famous breeder of thoroughbred race horses. Known to his friends as "Eddie", he is universally recorded as "E. P...

, president and founder of Argus, respectively. Following McDougald's death in 1978, Black paid $30-million to take control of Ravelston and thereby, control of Toronto-based Argus. This controversial arrangement resulted in accusations that Black had taken advantage of the aging widows of Ravelston Directors McDougald and Eric Phillips. Other observers admired Black for marshalling enough investor support to win control without committing a large block of personal assets.

Some of the Argus assets were already troubled, others did not fit Black's long term vision. Black resigned as Chairman of Massey Ferguson
Massey Ferguson
Massey Ferguson Limited was a major agricultural equipment manufacturer which was based in Canada before its purchase by AGCO. The company was formed by a merger between Massey Harris and the Ferguson tractor company in 1953, creating the company Massey Harris Ferguson. However in 1958 the name was...

 company in 1979, after which Argus donated its shares to the employee's pension funds (both salaried and union.) Hollinger Mines was then turned into a holding company that initially focused on resource businesses.

In 1981 Norcen Energy, one of his companies, acquired a minority position in Ohio-based Hanna Mining Co. A filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission stated that Norcen took "an investment position" in Hanna. However, the filing failed to disclose that Norcen's board planned to seek majority control. Black subsequently was charged by the SEC with filing misleading public statements, charges that were later withdrawn by "consent decree" after Black and Norcen agreed not to break securities laws in the future.

Dominion pension dispute

In 1984, Black withdrew over $56 million from the Dominion workers' pension plan
Pension fund
A pension fund is any plan, fund, or scheme which provides retirement income.Pension funds are important shareholders of listed and private companies. They are especially important to the stock market where large institutional investors dominate. The largest 300 pension funds collectively hold...

 surplus without consulting plan members. The firm said it considered the surplus the rightful property of the employer (Dominion Stores Ltd.). The Dominion Union complained, a public outcry ensued, and the case went to court. The Supreme Court of Ontario
Supreme Court of Ontario
The Supreme Court of Ontario was a superior court of the Canadian province of Ontario. Now defunct, in 1989 the Courts of Justice Amendment Act, 1989 was enacted by the Government to create one large superior trial court for Ontario...

 eventually ruled against the company, and ordered the company to return the money to the pension fund, claiming that though the most recent language in the plan suggested the employer had ownership of the surplus, the original intention was to keep the surplus in the plan to increase members' benefits.

Industrial holdings shifted to publishing

Over time, Black focused formerly diverse activities of his companies on newspaper publishing. Argus Corporation, once Canada's most important conglomerate, divested itself of interests in manufacturing, mining, retailing, banking and broadcasting. Canadian writer John Ralston Saul
John Ralston Saul
John Ralston Saul, CC is a Canadian author, essayist, and President of International PEN.As an essayist, Saul is particularly known for his commentaries on the nature of individualism, citizenship and the public good; the failures of manager-, or more precisely technocrat-, led societies; the...

 argued in 2008, "Lord Black was never a real "capitalist" because he never created wealth, only dismantled wealth. His career has been largely about stripping corporations. Destroying them."

Growth and divestment of press holdings

In 1985, Andrew Knight
Andrew Knight
Andrew Stephen Bower Knight is a journalist, editor, and director of News Corporation.-Career:He joined The Economist Magazine in 1966 on the international business and investment sections...

, then editor of The Economist
The Economist
The Economist is an English-language weekly news and international affairs publication owned by The Economist Newspaper Ltd. and edited in offices in the City of Westminster, London, England. Continuous publication began under founder James Wilson in September 1843...

, asked Black to invest in the ailing Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph is a daily morning broadsheet newspaper distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. The newspaper was founded by Arthur B...

 Group. By this investment, Black made his first entry into British press ownership. Five years later, he bought the Jerusalem Post, and by 1990, his companies ran over 400 newspaper titles in North America, the majority of them small community papers.

Hollinger bought a minority stake in the Southam newspaper chain in 1993 and acquired the Chicago Sun Times in 1994. Hollinger International shares were listed on New York Stock Exchange in 1996, at which time the company boosted its stake in Southam to a control position. Becoming a public company trading in the U.S. has been called "a fateful move, exposing Black's empire to America's more rigorous regulatory regime and its more aggressive institutional shareholders."

Under Black, Hollinger launched the National Post
National Post
The National Post is a Canadian English-language national newspaper based in Don Mills, a district of Toronto. The paper is owned by Postmedia Network Inc. and is published Mondays through Saturdays...

in Toronto in 1998. From 1999 to 2000 Hollinger International sold several newspapers in five deals worth a total of US$679-million, a total that included millions of dollars in "non-compete agreements" for Hollinger insiders. Later in the year, Hollinger International announced the sale of thirteen major Canadian newspapers, 126 community newspapers, internet properties and half of the National Post to CanWest Global Communications Corp
CanWest Global Communications
Canwest Global Communications Corporation, which operated under the corporate brand Canwest, was a major Canadian media company based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, with its head offices at Canwest Place...

. Hollinger International sold the rest of the National Post to CanWest in the summer of 2001.


Born to a rich family, Black acquired the family home and 7 acres (28,328 m²) of land in Toronto's exclusive Bridle Path
Bridle Path, Toronto
The Bridle Path upscale residential neighbourhood in the former city of North York, now part of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, that is characterized by large multi-million dollar mansions and two to four acre lot sizes. It is often referred to as "Millionaires' Row"...

 neighbourhood after his father's death in 1976. Black and first wife Joanna Hishon maintained homes in Palm Beach, Toronto and London. After he married Barbara Amiel, he acquired a luxury Park Avenue apartment in New York. When sold in 2005, the U.S. Department of Justice seized net proceeds of $8.5 million, pending resolution of court actions. His London townhouse
A townhouse is the term historically used in the United Kingdom, Ireland and in many other countries to describe a residence of a peer or member of the aristocracy in the capital or major city. Most such figures owned one or more country houses in which they lived for much of the year...

 in the Kensington
Kensington is a district of west and central London, England within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. An affluent and densely-populated area, its commercial heart is Kensington High Street, and it contains the well-known museum district of South Kensington.To the north, Kensington is...

 district sold in 2005 for about US$25 million. Black's Palm Beach
Palm Beach, Florida
The Town of Palm Beach is an incorporated town in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States. The Intracoastal Waterway separates it from the neighboring cities of West Palm Beach and Lake Worth...

 mansion was listed for sale in 2004 at $36 million. In late April of 2011 this Florida property was also sold by Black for approximately $30 million (USD).

According to biographer Tom Bower
Tom Bower
Tom Bower is a British writer, noted for his revelatory investigative work such as his unauthorized biographies.A former Panorama reporter, his books include unauthorised biographies of Tiny Rowland, Robert Maxwell, Mohamed Al-Fayed, Geoffrey Robinson, Gordon Brown and Richard Branson...

, "They flaunted their wealth." Black's critics, including former Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph is a daily morning broadsheet newspaper distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. The newspaper was founded by Arthur B...

editor Charles Moore
Charles Moore (journalist)
Charles Hilary Moore is a British journalist and former editor of The Daily Telegraph.-Early life:He was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge where he was awarded a BA in History and was a friend of Oliver Letwin.-Career:A former editor of The Spectator , the Sunday Telegraph and The...

, suggested it was Black's second wife, Amiel, who pushed him towards a life of opulence, citing extravagant expenditures such as items billed to Hollinger expenses that included $
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

2,463 (£
Pound sterling
The pound sterling , commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence...

1,272) on handbags, $2,785 in opera tickets, and $140 for Amiel's "jogging attire."

Black was ranked 238th wealthiest in Britain by the Sunday Times Rich List
Sunday Times Rich List
The Sunday Times Rich List is a list of the 1,000 wealthiest people or families in the United Kingdom, updated annually in April and published as a magazine supplement by British national Sunday newspaper The Sunday Times since 1989...

 2003, with an estimated wealth of £136m. He was dropped from the 2004 list.

Black is a former Steering Committee member of the Bilderberg Group
Bilderberg Group
The Bilderberg Group, Bilderberg conference, or Bilderberg Club is an annual, unofficial, invitation-only conference of approximately 120 to 140 guests from North America and Western Europe, most of whom are people of influence. About one-third are from government and politics, and two-thirds from...


Criminal fraud conviction and Supreme Court review

Black was convicted in U.S. District Court
United States district court
The United States district courts are the general trial courts of the United States federal court system. Both civil and criminal cases are filed in the district court, which is a court of law, equity, and admiralty. There is a United States bankruptcy court associated with each United States...

 in Chicago on July 13, 2007 and sentenced to serve 78 months in federal prison, pay Hollinger $6.1 million, in addition to a fine of $125,000.

Black was found guilty of diverting funds for personal benefit from money due Hollinger International when the company sold certain publishing assets and of other irregularities. For example, in 2000, in an illegal and surreptitious arrangement that came to be known as the "Lerner Exchange," Black acquired Chicago's Lerner Newspapers
Lerner Newspapers
Lerner Newspapers was once the largest chain of weekly newspapers in the world. Founded by Leo Lerner, the chain was a force in community journalism in Chicago from 1926 to 2005....

 and sold it to Hollinger. He also was found guilty of obstruction of justice.

The Supreme Court of the United States heard an appeal of his case on December 8, 2009 and rendered a decision in June 2010. Black's application for bail was rejected by both the Supreme Court and the U.S. District Court judge who sentenced him.

On June 24, 2010, the US Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that the definition of "honest services" fraud
Honest services fraud
Honest services fraud refers to a 28-word sentence of , added by the United States Congress in 1988, which states: "For the purposes of this chapter, the term, scheme or artifice to defraud includes a scheme or artifice to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services."The statute...

 used in the trial judge's charge to the jury in Black's case was too broad and ordered the US 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago to review three fraud convictions against Black in light of the Supreme Court's new definition. The appeals court was to review Black's case and determine whether his fraud convictions will stand or if there should be a new trial. The jailed former media baron's obstruction-of-justice conviction, for which he is serving a concurrent 6½-year sentence, remains in place. Black's lawyers filed an application for bail pending the appeals court's review. Prosecutors contested Black's bail request, arguing in court papers that Black's trial jury had proof that Black committed fraud. He was granted bail on July 19, 2010, by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and was released on a $2 million unsecured bond put up by conservative philanthropist Roger Hertog
Roger Hertog
Roger Hertog is an American businessman, financier and conservative philanthropist. Born and raised in the Bronx borough of New York City, New York, Hertog pursued a career in business....

. Black was released from custody and ordered to remain on bail in the continental United States until at least August 16, when his bail hearing was to resume, and the date by which Black and the prosecution were ordered by the Court of Appeals to submit written arguments for that court's review of his case.

Until July 21, 2010, Black, Federal Bureau of Prisons
Federal Bureau of Prisons
The Federal Bureau of Prisons is a federal law enforcement agency subdivision of the United States Department of Justice and is responsible for the administration of the federal prison system. The system also handles prisoners who committed acts considered felonies under the District of Columbia's...

 #18330-424, was incarcerated at Federal Correctional Institution Low, Coleman, FL, a part of the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex
Coleman Federal Correctional Complex
Coleman Federal Correctional Complex is a prison complex operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Located south of the town of Coleman, Florida in an unincorporated area of Sumter County off U.S...

 Prior to being granted bail, his scheduled release date was October 30, 2013.

Following his release, coincidentally on his 18th wedding anniversary, Black wrote a column for Canada's The National Post on his time in prison. Black described America's inmates as an "ostracized, voiceless legion of the walking dead." Black was to appear once again in a Chicago court on August 16 to provide full and detailed financial information to the judge, who would then consider his request to be allowed to return to Canada while on bail
Traditionally, bail is some form of property deposited or pledged to a court to persuade it to release a suspect from jail, on the understanding that the suspect will return for trial or forfeit the bail...

. In spite of his professed desire to return to his former home in Canada, Black's legal representatives advised the court that they would not provide the requisite accounting and would thus not be interested in petitioning the court further on the matter. Although many have cited this refusal to disclose as more deception on the part of Black, it is possible that the voluminous amounts of information that would have been required for complete disclosure could not be compiled in time or would have been used to further incriminate Black in later proceedings, a potential violation of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, protects against abuse of government authority in a legal procedure. Its guarantees stem from English common law which traces back to the Magna Carta in 1215...

. He was, however, under no compulsion to make this disclosure, as he had initiated the appeal for a bail variation of his own volition. His next court appearance, where he might reapply for permission to return to Canada, was set for September 20, 2010.

On October 28, 2010, the US 7th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned two of the three remaining mail fraud counts. It left Black convicted of one count of mail fraud and one count of obstruction of justice. The court also ruled that he must be resentenced. On December 17, 2010, Black lost an appeal of his remaining convictions for fraud and obstruction of justice. The three-person panel did not provide reasons. On May 31, 2011, the Supreme Court of the United States
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 refused to grant Black leave to appeal his two remaining convictions without any comment.

The resentencing on the two remaining counts by the original trial judge occurred on June 24, 2011. Black's lawyers recommended that he be sentenced to the 29 months he had already served while the prosecution argued for Black to complete his original 6½ year sentence. The probation officer's report recommended a sentence of between 33 and 41 months. At the hearing, Judge St. Eve resentenced Black to a reduced term of 42 months and a fine of $125,000, returning him to prison on September 6, 2011 to serve the remaining 13 months of his sentence.

On June 30, 2011, 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."

Seth Lipsky, in an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal that ran on June 28, 2011, called the verdict against Black "head-scratching," noting that Black was found not guilty of the most serious charges brought against him and "the jury convicted him of a count of obstruction, for obeying an eviction notice by Hollinger to remove from his former office in Toronto boxes of papers and personal effects that he hadn't been informed were under seal. Prosecutors claimed that, out of 13 boxes, a single document was relevant to the investigation. It was a copy of a non-compete agreement that Black had previously turned over to the investigators." Lipsky also raised the issue of why Black was denied a retrial by jury as to whether he had committed pecuniary fraud after the Supreme Court unanimously found that Judge St. Eve's instructions to the jury were "incorrect," which led to two of the three fraud counts ultimately being vacated. In the end, the fraud conviction was allowed to stand and the count of obstruction: "The fraud Black stood guilty of involved a gain to him of but $285,000. He has made restitution of $32 million. He has been forced to stand aside while his business empire was reduced to rubble and $250 million or so of his own equity destroyed. And he has incurred tens of millions of dollars in legal fees... even some of his critics are wondering why the prosecutors engaged in the conduct they did."

Black did not return to his former location of Coleman Federal Correctional Facility because two female guards at Coleman reported they feared for their safety if Black returned. Instead, he reported on September 6, 2011 to the Federal Correctional Institution, Miami
Federal Correctional Institution, Miami
Federal Correctional Institution, Miami is a U.S. federal prison in an unincorporated area of Miami-Dade County, Florida. It is a low to medium security facility housing male inmates and also has an adjacent satellite prison camp that houses minimum-security male offenders...


Peerage controversy and citizenship

Upon the advice of British Prime Minister
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

 Tony Blair
Tony Blair
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...

, Queen Elizabeth II conferred in 2001 the dignity of a life peerage to Black with the name, style and title of Baron Black of Crossharbour, of Crossharbour in the London Borough
London borough
The administrative area of Greater London contains thirty-two London boroughs. Inner London comprises twelve of these boroughs plus the City of London. Outer London comprises the twenty remaining boroughs of Greater London.-Functions:...

 of Tower Hamlets. Canadian Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Canada
The Prime Minister of Canada is the primary minister of the Crown, chairman of the Cabinet, and thus head of government for Canada, charged with advising the Canadian monarch or viceroy on the exercise of the executive powers vested in them by the constitution...

 Jean Chrétien
Jean Chrétien
Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien , known commonly as Jean Chrétien is a former Canadian politician who was the 20th Prime Minister of Canada. He served in the position for over ten years, from November 4, 1993 to December 12, 2003....

, gave the conflicting advice that a Canadian citizen should not receive a titular honour, citing the 1919 Nickle Resolution
Canadian titles debate
The Canadian titles debate has been ongoing since the adoption of the Nickle Resolution in 1919. This resolution marked the earliest attempt to establish a Canadian government policy requesting the Sovereign not to grant knighthoods, baronetcies, and peerages to Canadians, and set the precedent for...

. Black at the time held both Canadian and British citizenship. As a result of the dispute, Black renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2001, remaining a citizen of the UK. He has applied to have his Canadian citizenship returned to him, but as of June 2011 this has not been granted. Some argue the motive for this is solely so that he may attempt to serve out a portion of his sentence in Canada rather than the US. Another view is that it would simply allow him to more easily cross the border into Canada, as his conviction in the US is sufficiently serious that he is considered inadmissible.

Order of Canada

Black was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada
Order of Canada
The Order of Canada is a Canadian national order, admission into which is, within the system of orders, decorations, and medals of Canada, the second highest honour for merit...

 (OC) in 1990. In September 2011, after Black returned to prison due to the failure of his appeal, Rideau Hall
Rideau Hall
Rideau Hall is, since 1867, the official residence in Ottawa of both the Canadian monarch and the Governor General of Canada. It stands in Canada's capital on a 0.36 km2 estate at 1 Sussex Drive, with the main building consisting of 170 rooms across 9,500 m2 , and 24 outbuildings around the...

 confirmed that Black's award was under review by the Advisory Council of the Order of Canada which has the power to recommend “the termination of a person's appointment to the Order of Canada
Removal from the Order of Canada
Recipients of the Order of Canada can have their honour revoked if the Order's Advisory Council feels that a recipient's actions have brought dishonour to the Order. As of 2010, only four people have been removed from the Order of Canada: Alan Eagleson, David Ahenakew, T. Sher Singh, and Steve Fonyo...

 if the person has been convicted of a criminal offence.”

Books and other publications

Black has written an autobiography and three substantial biographies of controversial twentieth-century figures.
  • Duplessis: Black re-worked his 1973 Master's thesis on Maurice Duplessis
    Maurice Duplessis
    Maurice Le Noblet Duplessis served as the 16th Premier of the Canadian province of Quebec from 1936 to 1939 and 1944 to 1959. A founder and leader of the highly conservative Union Nationale party, he rose to power after exposing the misconduct and patronage of Liberal Premier Louis-Alexandre...

     into a rehabilatory biographical re-examination of the controversial long-serving Quebec
    Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

     premier, published in 1977.

  • A Life in Progress: An autobiography, published in 1993.

  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Champion of Freedom: While Black was CEO of Hollinger International, the company spent millions of dollars purchasing collections of private papers of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt
    Franklin D. Roosevelt
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

    . Black subsequently completed a 1,280-page biography, in 2003.

  • What Might Have Been: A 2004 essay of speculative history depicting the latter half of the 20th century as it may have unfolded had Japan not bombed Pearl Harbor
    Pearl Harbor
    Pearl Harbor, known to Hawaiians as Puuloa, is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet...

     in 1941, edited by Andrew Roberts.

  • Richard M. Nixon: A Life in Full: Continuing in the vein of Duplessis, Black's 1,152-page 2007 biography of Richard Nixon
    Richard Nixon
    Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

     sought to rehabilitate the former U.S. President's legacy. This approach was criticized by some reviewers, who felt that it attempted to exculpate Nixon of some negative aspects of his time in office.

  • Black continues to contribute regular features to the National Post
    National Post
    The National Post is a Canadian English-language national newspaper based in Don Mills, a district of Toronto. The paper is owned by Postmedia Network Inc. and is published Mondays through Saturdays...

    , the newspaper he founded in 1998 and sold in 2001. In an article there, Black indicated that his next book will describe how his business empire was destroyed while court-protected managers enriched themselves and eradicated shareholder value. He says, "The judiciary and regulators in both countries are complicit in these events. They will have much to answer for. This is the real story, and I will publish it soon."

  • In the November 2008 issue of Spear's magazine, Black wrote a diary piece from jail, detailing 'the putrification of the US justice system' and how 'the bloom is off my long-notorious affection for America'.

  • On March 5, 2009, Black contributed a piece to the online version of the conservative magazine National Review
    National Review
    National Review is a biweekly magazine founded by the late author William F. Buckley, Jr., in 1955 and based in New York City. It describes itself as "America's most widely read and influential magazine and web site for conservative news, commentary, and opinion."Although the print version of the...

     (NRO). Called 'Roosevelt and the Revisionists' and based on his earlier biography of Roosevelt, it argued that FDR's New Deal was intended to save capitalism, and so deserved conservative support. In her March 9 critique of this piece on NRO, author Amity Shlaes
    Amity Shlaes
    Amity Ruth Shlaes is an American author and columnist from New York, who writes about politics and economics.-Education and career:...

     observed, "I will be co-hosting, with Dean Thomas Cooley of NYU/Stern, a Second Look conference on March 30 to permit scholars to present the multiple studies that suggest the New Deal and Great Depression are worth taking a look at from every angle. The great shame here is that Conrad would have added much to this event, and yet he cannot attend."

Biographies and portrayal in popular culture

  • The documentary film Citizen Black, which premiered at the 2004 Montreal
    New Montreal FilmFest
    Festival International de Films de Montréal , also known in English as the New Montreal FilmFest was a film festival held in Montreal in 2005 to focus on Francophone films...

     and Cambridge
    Cambridge Film Festival
    The Cambridge Film Festival is one of the biggest film festivals in the UK. The festival historically took place during early July, but now takes place annually during September in Cambridge....

     film festivals, traces Black's life and filmmaker Debbie Melnyk's attempts in 2003 to interview Black, and her eventual interview. US prosecutors subpoenaed unused footage of a 2003 shareholders meeting for use in Black's trial.
  • Canadian actor Albert Schultz
    Albert Schultz
    Albert Schultz is a Canadian actor, director and the founding artistic director of Toronto's celebrated Soulpepper Theatre Company.-Education:...

     portrayed Black in the 2006 CTV
    CTV television network
    CTV Television Network is a Canadian English language television network and is owned by Bell Media. It is Canada's largest privately-owned network, and has consistently placed as Canada's top-rated network in total viewers and in key demographics since 2002, after several years trailing the rival...

     movie Shades of Black.
  • Tom Bower
    Tom Bower
    Tom Bower is a British writer, noted for his revelatory investigative work such as his unauthorized biographies.A former Panorama reporter, his books include unauthorised biographies of Tiny Rowland, Robert Maxwell, Mohamed Al-Fayed, Geoffrey Robinson, Gordon Brown and Richard Branson...

    's biography Conrad and Lady Black: Dancing on the Edge (ISBN 0007232349) was published in 2006 by Harper Collins. It was republished in August 2007 with an additional chapter reporting on the trial and its outcomes.
  • There is talk of two dramas based on his life: one from Tom Bower
    Tom Bower
    Tom Bower is a British writer, noted for his revelatory investigative work such as his unauthorized biographies.A former Panorama reporter, his books include unauthorised biographies of Tiny Rowland, Robert Maxwell, Mohamed Al-Fayed, Geoffrey Robinson, Gordon Brown and Richard Branson...

     and Andrew Lloyd Webber
    Andrew Lloyd Webber
    Andrew Lloyd Webber, Baron Lloyd-Webber is an English composer of musical theatre.Lloyd Webber has achieved great popular success in musical theatre. Several of his musicals have run for more than a decade both in the West End and on Broadway. He has composed 13 musicals, a song cycle, a set of...

     and another from Alistair Beaton
    Alistair Beaton
    Alistair Beaton is a Scottish left wing political satirist, journalist, radio presenter, novelist and television writer. At one point in his career he was also a speechwriter for Gordon Brown....

  • The last authorized portrait busts of Conrad Black and Barbara Amiel were created between 2001–2002 by Canadian sculptor Dr. Elizabeth Bradford Holbrook
    Elizabeth Bradford Holbrook
    Elizabeth Bradford Holbrook, CM, O.Ont was a Canadian portrait sculptor, medal designer and liturgical artist...

     and arranged by noted Canadian artist Christian Cardell Corbet
    Christian Cardell Corbet
    Christian Cardell Corbet is a Canadian sculptor, painter and designer. He co-founded and was first President of the Canadian Portrait Academy.- Quotes :...

     who himself also created a portrait of Black.
  • A book "Robber Baron: Lord Black of Crossharbour" was published in 2007 by ECW press and written by George Tombs. ISBN 978-1-55022-806-9

External links

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