Marks, Howard 1945-

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Marks, Howard 1945-


Born August 13, 1945, in Kenfig Hill, Wales; married Ilze Kadegis (marriage ended); married Judy Lane (divorced); children: Tina, Myfanwy, Amber, Francesca, Patrick. Education: Balliol College, Oxford, received physics degree, 1967, postgraduate work in philosophy.


Former drug smuggler, serving jail time in Terre Haute, IN, 1988-95; ran unsuccessfully for office in the British Parliament on the Legalize Cannabis Party ticket. Actor in films and on television, including The Falconer, 1998, Human Traffic, 1999, Wish You Were Here, 2005, Heartbeat, 2006, Get Back, 2006, and Ecstasy, 2007. Also appeared on television, including in Howard Makes His Mark, 1999, Cable TV, 2002, The Wright Stuff, 2003, Celebrity Poker Club, 2004, and This Week, 2005.


Mr. Nice: An Autobiography, Secker & Warburg (London, England), 1996.

The Howard Marks Book of Dope Stories, Vintage (London, England), 2001.

(With Simon Bond) 101 Uses of a Dead Roach, Arrow (London, England), 2002.

Also author of Howard Marks: A Video Diary.


Mr. Nice and The Howard Marks Book of Dope Stories have been adapted as audio-books by RH Audio in 1999 and 2001, respectively.


Once one of the world's most notorious marijuana smugglers, Howard Marks has found a different kind of celebrity through his television and film appearances, his one-man stage shows, and his story Mr. Nice: An Autobiography. An Oxford graduate, Marks seems on the surface an unlikely person to have become a hugely successful drug smuggler. "With the help of friends and fellow students at Oxford University," explained a Europe Intelligence Wire reporter, "Marks built a worldwide smuggling network that allegedly became responsible for the majority of marijuana smoked in the western world throughout the 1970s and most of the 1980s." Over the years, he moved hundreds of tons of marijuana throughout the western world before being arrested and serving seven years in Terre Haute Penitentiary. He also "collected multiple identities, passports, and bank accounts, as well as a handful of legitimate business operations," reported a Kirkus Reviews contributor, "although, he reports, ‘I enjoyed being a smuggler most of all.’" He has since been an advocate for the legalization of marijuana, speaking out against what he calls "selective enforcement" of antidrug laws by local police. "Howard's theories are sound," wrote Claire Giltrow in her Urban75 interview, "and as he relates his arguments against the current issues of police selective enforcement towards cannabis users, you wish for once Westminster would stand up and listen." His account of his life has sold more than half a million copies.



Marks, Howard, Mr. Nice: An Autobiography, Secker & Warburg (London, England), 1996.


Bookseller, November 4, 2005, "Author Edits News," p. 44.

Europe Intelligence Wire, November 3, 2002, "A Surprise Love Child for Mr. Nice"; October 31, 2005, "Life Begins at 60 as Mr. Nice Enjoys His Nice Nights In"; September 18, 2006, "No More Mr. Nice over Drug Claims"; October 5, 2006, "For Mr. Nice Fame Is a Kind of Freedom."

Financial Times, May 27, 2006, Catherine Neilan, "In Brief—Mr. Nice and Mrs. Marks," p. 33.

Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2002, review of Mr. Nice, p. 1369.

London Independent, October 14, 2006, Sophie Lam, "Howard Marks: My Life in Travel."

London Review of Books, January 23, 1997, Iain Sinclair, "Narco Polo," pp. 26-28.

Observer (London, England), September 8, 1996, Will Self, "Splendour in the Grass," p. 15.

Times Literary Supplement, October 4, 1996, Peter J.M. Wayne, "Rotten from the Start," p. 30.


Euronet Internet, (April 25, 2007), brief biography of Howard Marks.

Free Radical Sounds, (April 25, 2007), "High on Hope: Howard Marks Talks to Free Radical Sounds."

Howard Marks Home Page, (April 25, 2007)., (April 25, 2007)., (April 25, 2007), Clare Giltrow, "Howard Marks Interview."