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Was Robert Maxwell a Soviet spy?

FBI files reveal US fears reveal media mogul was working for Russia | Daily Mail Online

6/14/15 6:26 PM


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Was Robert Maxwell a Soviet spy? FBI files

reveal US fears the media mogul was
working for Russia


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Academics repeatedly warned the FBI that Maxwell may be working for the
Soviet Union in the 1950s and 1960s
FBI carried out an extensive investigation but ruled there was no evidence
he was a spy
His publishing empire printed scientific research papers in Russian
behind the Iron Curtain
Fears his Pergamon publishing empire was subsidised by the Soviets
Media mogul died after 'falling' off his yacht in 1991
PUBLISHED: 03:46 EST, 5 April 2013 | UPDATED: 06:38 EST, 5 April 2013


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The FBI feared that media mogul Robert Maxwell was a Soviet spy who tried to use his publishing
empire to send intelligence behind the Iron Curtain, newly-released files have revealed.
The media mogul's attempts to publish papers from leading US universities in Russian repeatedly
raised suspicions among leading academics.
Maxwell, who was born in Czechoslovakia, was building up his Pergamon Press publishing empire in
the US in the late 1950s and 1960s when he was covertly investigated.
But the FBI concluded there was no evidence the businessman was involved in 'any acts of espionage'
after carrying out extensive inquiries.
They closed the case in April 1957 but still faced further claims from scientists that he was working as
a spy.
Details of the investigation were revealed in heavily-redacted FBI files which have recently been
published online.

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Researchers have previously claimed the colourful publishing boss, who bought the Daily Mirror
newspaper in 1984, was a spy working for the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad.

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Was Robert Maxwell a Soviet spy? FBI files reveal US fears reveal media mogul was working for Russia | Daily Mail Online

In Britain, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

released files a decade ago which revealed they
were concerned about Maxwell's company and
its links to the Soviet Union in the 1950s.
However, they also wound down their
investigation after failing to prove the claims.

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A letter marked 'secret' written to FBI director J.

Edgar Hoover in February 1955, revealed an
investigation had found no evidence that Maxwell
had been working as a spy.

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The note said an extensive investigation had

been carried out in 1954 covering his 'travel,
activities, interests and contacts'.

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Soviet Spy? Robert Maxwell, pictured here in 1990,

was investigated by the FBI in the 1950s amid
claims he was covertly working for the Russians

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Soviet links: Robert Maxwell, right, with Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev in the Kremlin. The media mogul
faced repeated questions about whether he was engaged in espionage

But it added: 'A lengthy, extensive investigation regarding the subject's activities in the US and Canada
has not revealed any espionage activities on the subject's part'.
A subsequent letter sent to an unnamed academic in the Duke University engineering department by
the FBI reiterated there was no evidence Maxwell was involved in espionage and the case was shut.


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Was Robert Maxwell a Soviet spy? FBI files reveal US fears reveal media mogul was working for Russia | Daily Mail Online


6/14/15 6:26 PM

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However, suspicions about the former British army officer lingered well into the 1960s.
Russell Maguire, the chairman of the American Mercury magazine, wrote to the FBI in 1957 requesting
information about the 'political preferences' of the members of Pergamon, and their 'financial report'.

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Probe: An FBI letter to Russell Maguire suggested he may wish to 'discreetly look into the activities of one Ian
Robert Maxwell'

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Was Robert Maxwell a Soviet spy? FBI files reveal US fears reveal media mogul was working for Russia | Daily Mail Online

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Soviet links: Newly-published document reveals Maxwell's attempts to get USSR cooperation for his
publishing ventures

An internal FBI note added that there was no evidence of espionage activity 'on the part of Robert
Maxwell in the United States; however... (redacted).'
The FBI wrote back to Maguire saying: 'You may desire to discreetly look into the activities of one Ian
Robert Maxwell.'
In 1958, Senator Prescott Bush, father and grandfather of the two future US presidents, forwarded a
letter from Yale University which raised further questions about Maxwell.
It said there were concerns he 'may be engaged in a large scale effort to transmit scientific information
to the Russians.'

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Was Robert Maxwell a Soviet spy? FBI files reveal US fears reveal media mogul was working for Russia | Daily Mail Online

6/14/15 6:26 PM

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Robert Maxwell, centre in the baseball cap, with his crew on board his private yacht which he fell from to his

And in 1962 an agent raised the question that Maxwell's publications may be subsidised by the
Soviets because they were a source of technical and scientific knowledge from around the world.
There were also suspicions because Maxwell was allowed to enter the Soviet Union six times a year
while most people struggle to get any access.
Maxwell, who later became a Labour MP in Britain and lived an extravagant lifestyle, made his millions
from the publishing empire he set up after leaving the Army.
He died in 1991 after 'falling' off his private yacht off the Canary Islands after plundering his publishing
group's pension fund.

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Was Robert Maxwell a Soviet spy? FBI files reveal US fears reveal media mogul was working for Russia | Daily Mail Online

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