Felix Dennis (born 1947 in Kingston-upon-Thames, United Kingdom) is a British magazine publisher and philanthropist. His privately owned company, Dennis Publishing, pioneered computer and hobbyist magazine publishing in the United Kingdom. In more recent times the company has added lifestyle titles to its range, including Maxim and The Week, which are published both in Britain and the US.
An art college drop out, Dennis left home before his sixteenth birthday, and lived in a number of bedsits. Dennis started his career in publishing with Oz magazine, the Sixties counterculture magazine, initially as a successful seller, through which editor Richard Neville realised Dennis' potential business acumen. Dennis had earlier contributed to a television discussion on the counterculture, which Oz reprinted; the first magazines Dennis sold had been Neville's only available means of compensating him for using this material.
Oz was prosecuted for obscenity in 1971. All three editors were found guilty of corrupting children, and given jail terms with hard labour, although Dennis himself was given a shorter sentence because the judge, Justice Michael Argyle, considered Dennis "very much less intelligent" — and therefore less responsible — than his co-accused. It was such a cutting remark that it allegedly drove Dennis to create a business empire to prove the judge wrong.
Following the decline of Oz magazine, Dennis and Dick Pountain launched Cozmic Comics with a mixed content of reprinted US underground comic strips and new work by UK based writers and illustrators. The company name H. Bunch Associates and the logo graphic derived from the Robert Crumb character Honeybunch Kominsky. British underground comics proved to be less commercially viable than their American counterparts.
Dennis noticed the rising popularity of the Bruce Lee films and co-authored a commercially successful biography of Lee. Cozmic Comics moved away from comics and found almost instant success with Kung Fu, a poster magazine that recycled film publicity stills.
Dennis was recently named one of the most powerful people in media by The Guardian newspaper and was ranked 65th on the Sunday Times Rich List 2004]] with a fortune estimated at £585 million. He was ranked joint 95th on the Sunday Times Rich List 2007 with a fortune estimated at £750 million. He divides his time between homes in Mustique, New York, and Britain.
In recent times, alongside growing his publishing empire, Dennis has become a published poet with an anthology called A Glass Half Full.
In 1994, Dennis was made a Fellow of the National Library for the Blind in recognition of his support for that charity.
In 1995 Justice Argyle reiterated allegations about Dennis in The Spectator magazine. As this was outside court privilege, Dennis was able to successfully sue the magazine, which agreed to pay £10,000 to charity. Dennis refrained from suing Argyle personally:
In addition to his publishing wealth, Dennis was also a major shareholder in the US based reseller of computer products, MicroWarehouse. A considerable portion of his wealth was generated by his holding in MicroWarehouse during the 1990s. Felix Dennis, Peter Godfrey and Bob Bartner co-founded Micro Warehouse in 1987. The company went public in December 1992 and was sold to a private investment group in January 2000. MicroWarehouse had 3500 employees in 13 different countries with worldwide sales in 2000 of $2.5 billion.
Some of Dennis' other interests include poetry and forestry. Dennis has published numerous books of poetry, including A Glass Half Full, When Jack Met Jill and Lone Wolf, published by Ebury Press. He aims to spend between 3-4 hours per day writing his poetry..
Dennis has written about how he got to be a millionaire in How to Get Rich (ISBN 009191265-2), published by Ebury Press. As well as anecdotes from his own life, the book aims to give people the 'knack' it takes to get rich.
Dennis will continue to publish The Week in the USA.
In an interview with Ginny Dougary published in The Times on 2 April 2008 Dennis said that in the early 1980s he had killed a man who had been abusing a woman he knew by pushing him off a cliff; Dennis later said he had been talking "a load of hogwash" whilst drunk.
Cutting It Fine; as Poet and Humourist Felix Dennis Brings His Cut-Throat Tour to the Glee Club in Cardiff, DAVE OWENS Hears the Extraordinary Life Story of a Less-Than-Ordinary Man
Jul 05, 2013; Byline: DAVE OWENS FELIX Dennis is a man who has lived a life of extremes. Until he was 53, the multi-millionaire publishing...
Publish and Be Damned ; from His Days as Oz Editor to His Current Role as Lad-Mag Magnate, Felix Dennis Has Rarely Shown Much Concern for the World's Opinion. but He Does Now. Why? He's Become a Poet
Apr 05, 2002; Dates reverberate in the life of Felix Dennis. He has a neurotic habit of remembering the date on which he stopped doing...