SAATCHI, CHARLES (1943– ), British advertising agent and art collector. Born in Baghdad, the Saatchis fled to Britain in 1948 due to antisemitic pogroms by the Iraqis at the time of the creation of Israel. Charles Saatchi left school at 17 and founded the famous advertising agency Saatchi … Saatchi with his brother in the early 1970s. By the 1980s it had become one of the biggest advertising agencies in the world, and it is seen as an important factor in Margaret Thatcher's electoral victory in 1979, producing the famous poster "Labour Isn't Working." The Saatchis were ousted from their firm in a boardroom coup in 1994 and established a new agency, M … C Saatchi. Charles Saatchi is best known as one of the most important and controversial collectors and patrons of contemporary art in the world, giving a start to such artists as Damien Hirst. In 1985 he founded the Saatchi Gallery of Contemporary Art at the London County Hall site, and he has one of the most valuable private collections of contemporary art in the world. His brother baron maurice saatchi (1946– ) was also born in Baghdad and, following his career as an advertising agent, became an important force in the British Conservative Party. He was awarded a life peerage in 1996 and served as a Shadow spokesman in the House of Lords before becoming joint chairman of the Conservative Party in 2003.
I. Fallon, The Brothers: The Rise and Rise of Saatchi … Saatchi (1988); R. Hatton and J.A. Walker, Supercollector: A Critique of Charles Saatchi (2000).
[William D. Rubinstein (2nd ed.)]