Felix Dennis dead at 67: Media tycoon and former editor of Oz dies of cancer

The magazine owner, poet and author was diagnosed in 2012, but carried on performing to audiences as recent as October

Media baron and personality Felix Dennis has died aged 67 after a “long and painful battle with cancer.”

The entrepreneur and, later, poet, died peacefully at his home in Dorsington, Warwickshire, yesterday, his office has confirmed.

Dennis was one of the central figures who brought 60s counterculture magazine Oz to a large audience, editing the London edition and later, in 1971, becoming embroiled in an obscenity trial where his conviction was quashed on appeal.

He then set up his own magazine publishing company, Dennis Publishing, in 1973, launching successful titles such as Maxim and owning The Week, Viz, and Health & Fitness.

He was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2012.

 

A statement from his family said: “Felix was a publishing legend, famed for his maverick and entrepreneurial style and, more lately, a successful and much loved poet. He will be greatly missed.

“Thank you to the support and kindness of those who share our feelings for Felix, and we ask that you respect our privacy during our time of grief.”

Eccentric Dennis dipped his pen into creative writing in 2001 while bored in hospital having been struck down with thyroid problems, writing on Post-it notes taken from the nurses’ station. Felix Dennis (centre) with his co-defendants in 1971 after their convictions were overturned Felix Dennis (centre) with his co-defendants in 1971 after their convictions were overturned

This love for writing eventually led to the publication of a number of poetry books and live performance tours, most recently in 2013 with the 30-date ‘Did I Mention The Free Wine? - The Cut-Throat Tour,’ which was an “evening of fine French wine and poetry to celebrate the publication of [Felix’s] new book, ‘Love, Of A Kind’.”

He is also the author of a number of tell-all books including the best-selling ‘How to Get Rich: The Distilled Wisdom of One of Britain’s Wealthiest Self-Made Entrepreneurs,’ and ‘88 The Narrow Road: A Brief Guide to the Getting of Money.’

He is infamous for having given the ‘c’ word its British television debut on 7 November 1970 when on The Frost Programme he described activist Jerry Rubin as the “most unreasonable c*** I’ve ever met.” He later regretted his use of the word saying he had behaved “bloody abominably.”

He also once claimed that he'd spent in the region of $100m on "sex drugs and rock 'n' roll".

In an interview with The Guardian in 2010, Dennis was asked what the most important lesson life had taught him, to which he responded: “Fear nothing – failing that, fake it!”

He was also asked how he would like to be remembered: “Truly, I could not care less,” he quipped.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Multiple Apprentices Required

£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...

Sauce Recruitment: HR Manager

£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...

Ashdown Group: Interim HR Manager - 3 Month FTC - Henley-on-Thames

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...

Recruitment Genius: HR Advisor

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our Client has been the leader ...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project