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Sir David Barclay, co-owner of the Daily Telegraph, dies "suddenly after a brief illness" at the age of 86.


Sir David Barclay died after a short illness at the age of 86

Billionaire media mogul and co-owner of The Daily Telegraph, Sir David Barclay, has died after a brief illness at the age of 86.

His newspaper reported last night that he passed away on Sunday.

Together with his identical twin, Sir Frederick Barclay, Sir David built a business empire and made him one of the richest men in Britain with an estimated combined fortune of around £ 7 billion.

You were knighted in the first double knight ceremony in recent history in 2000.

The twins, commonly known as "The Barclay Brothers," started their business investing in hotels before expanding into shipping, retail and the media.

In July 2004, the Barclays bought the Telegraph Media Group from British businessman Conrad Black. The titles included The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph, and The Spectator.

The brothers had previously bought up other media, first in 1992 when they acquired The European, a weekly newspaper that closed in 1998, followed by The Scotsman, which they bought in 1995 before selling it a decade later.

They quickly became major players in the media industry, bringing former Sunday Times editor Andrew Neil into their group to guide their interests.

In 1997, they acquired The Sunday Business in 1997 and restarted it as a competitor to the Financial Times over the weekend.

But the brothers had a long interest in buying The Telegraph and in May 2003 turned to the beleaguered owner Lord Black, who was fighting against the shareholders.

Sir David faxed it out from Monte Carlo and simply said, "I would like to register our interest in case you are considering a serious change in your British interests." Lord Black replied: & # 39; The conditions are pretty straightforward. There are no assets for sale. & # 39;

However, confidential negotiations to acquire The Barclays began months later when Lord Black's situation worsened.

After early legal complications blocked an initial deal, the twins finally bought The Telegraph Media Group at auction in 2004 for a profit of £ 665 million.

Together with his identical twin, Sir Frederick Barclay (left), Sir David (right) founded a business empire that made him one of Britain's richest men with an estimated combined fortune of around £ 7 billion

Together with his identical twin, Sir Frederick Barclay (left), Sir David (right) founded a business empire that made him one of Britain's richest men with an estimated combined fortune of around £ 7 billion

In recent years the brothers have increasingly delegated the leadership of the media group and the entire empire to Sir David's sons, Aidan and Howard.

Sir David, in particular, was admired as an astute reader of political rhythms and described by a friend as "able to read economic tea leaves like few people of his generation".

But he resisted pressure on his editors, who, although aware of the twins' support for Margaret Thatcher's small-state policies, had a free hand over the contents of the paper.

Born David Rowat Barclay is 10 minutes older than his twin Frederick Hugh Barclay. You were born into a large family in Hammersmith on October 27, 1934.

The twins had a difficult childhood when they were evacuated multiple times during World War II and witnessed firsthand the Coventry bombings.

The brothers dropped out of school at the age of 14 and led David to claim that he was educated at the "University of Life".

He first worked in accounts at the General Electric Company before working as a decorator and running a corner shop. By 1961, the twins had started a real estate agent in Notting Hill, where they began buying and trading real estate. Soon they began converting run-down guest houses into small hotels.

Her first major hotel purchase was Hyde Park North and Hyde Park West. They acquired more than 15 hotels in a decade and bought the Ritz for £ 75 million in 1995 to provide Margaret Thatcher with a suite for the last weeks of her life.

Last year the twins sold the Ritz to a brother-in-law of the ruler of Qatar. This led to a notorious argument between the brothers over the sales process and the price of the hotel, which resulted in legal proceedings.

In happier times, the Barclays bought a joint house on the promontory of Brecqhou off the Channel Island of Sark.

They bought the island in 1993 for £ 2.3 million and built a fortress like a Gothic Revival mansion, symbolizing their love of privacy.

Pope Benedict XVI Made Sir David a papal knight. Later in life, he came closer to the Catholic Church after first experimenting with various denominations, from Pentecost to Anglicanism.

He married the much-photographed model Zoe Newton in 1955 when he was 20 and she was 19. They had three sons, Aidan, Howard and Duncan.

They divorced in the 1980s before remarrying Reyna Oropeza in 1989, with whom he had another son, Alistair. He had nine grandchildren.

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