Clore, Sir Charles

views updated


CLORE, SIR CHARLES (1904–1979), British financier, industrialist, and philanthropist. Clore was born in London of immigrant Russian parents. His commercial ability was early revealed in a variety of transactions. He attracted public attention after World War ii when, over a period of seven years, he bought a shipbuilding firm, one of England's leading shoe companies, and a Scottish road haulage firm. The cost of these three purchases totaled nearly $50,000,000, and they became prototypes of the "take-over bid," a method of gaining control of large public companies by direct approach to shareholders and without necessarily consulting the directors. Within a short time Clore became the center of public controversy. Critics claimed that his take-over bids would eventually undermine confidence in company management. Nevertheless, takeover bids soon became a common feature of British industry. In 1965 Clore purchased a chain of stores at a price of nearly $150,000,000. His vast building projects involved the reshaping of whole sections of central London. A staunch Zionist, Clore gave large donations to the development of Israel, notably to the Weizmann Institute at Reḥovot, and was one of the founders of Wolfson, Clore, Mayer and Co., an investment company in Israel. He also contributed millions of pounds to general philanthropic causes, especially to British universities. Clore was knighted in 1971. He established the Clore Foundation as a leading charitable trust. Since his death in 1979 its head has been Clore's daughter Dame Vivien Duffield. Now known as the Clore Duffield Foundation, it has given away more than £11 million, largely to museums, and is chiefly responsible for funding the construction of the Clore Gallery at London's Tate Museum.

add. bibliography:

Charles Gordon, Two Tycoons: A Personal Memoir of Jack Cotton and Charles Clore; odnb online.

[Moshe Rosetti]