Within hours of Robert Maxwell’s death on November 5, 1991, tributes from world leaders began pouring in. An early caller to his widow Betty was US President George H. W. Bush.

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher also rang, as did Lord Goodman, a former adviser to Harold Wilson. He suggested a memorial service for Maxwell in Westminster Abbey might be appropriate. Prime Minister John Major is believed to have delayed his weekly audience with the Queen so he could write his tribute to the media tycoon. ‘No one should doubt his interest in peace and his loyalty to friends,’ Major wrote. ‘His was an extraordinary life, lived to the full.’

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