William Maxwell "Max" Aitken, 1st Baron Beaverbrook, PC, ONB, (25 May 1879 – 9 June 1964) was an Anglo-Canadian business tycoon, politician, and writer. About the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0394568796/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0394568796&linkCode=as2&tag=tra0c7-20&linkId=39669108d89aa2b4321eab1368f15028
Lord Beaverbrook held a tight grip on the British media as an influential press baron, owning The Daily Express newspaper, as well as the London Evening Standard and the Sunday Express. His political career included serving as a Minister in the British government during both World Wars.
Beaverbrook was an influential and often mentioned figure in British society of the first half of the 20th century.
Aitken was born in Maple, Ontario, Canada, (near Keele Street and Major Mackenzie Drive) in 1879, the son of a Scottish-born Presbyterian minister. The following year, his family moved to Newcastle, New Brunswick, Canada, which he considered to be his hometown. It was here, at the age of 13, that he published his first newspaper.
Although Aitken wrote the entrance examinations for Dalhousie University and registered at the King’s College Law School, he did not attend either institution. His only formal higher education came when he briefly attended the University of New Brunswick. Aitken worked for a short time as an office boy in the law office of Richard Bedford Bennett, in the town of Chatham, New Brunswick. Bennett later became Prime Minister of Canada and a business associate.
As a young man, Aitken made his way to Halifax, Nova Scotia where John F. Stairs, part of the city’s dominant business family, gave him employment, training him in the business of finance. In 1904, when Stairs opened his newly formed Royal Securities Corporation, Aitken became a minority shareholder and the firm’s general manager. Under the tutelage of Stairs, who would be his mentor and friend, Aitken engineered a number of successful business deals and was planning to do a series of bank mergers; however, Stairs’ unexpected early death in late September 1904 led to Aitken acquiring control of the company. Stairs had given the untested and untrained Aitken an opportunity in business, just as Aitken would later do when he hired A.J. Nesbitt, a young dry goods salesman from Saint John, New Brunswick. Because Montreal, Quebec was, at that time, the financial centre of Canada, Aitken would send Nesbitt to open the Montreal branch of Royal Securities.
In 1909 under the umbrella of his Royal Securities Company, Aitken founded Calgary Power Company, Limited (now formally TransAlta Corporation). As the company’s first president, Aitken concentrated early efforts on the development of the Horseshoe Falls hydro station.
For a period of time Beaverbrook employed novelist Evelyn Waugh in London and abroad. Waugh later lampooned his employer by portraying him as Lord Copper in Scoop and as Lord Monomark in both Put Out More Flags and Vile Bodies.
The Kinks recorded "Mr. Churchill Says" for their 1969 album Arthur, which contains the lines: "Mr. Beaverbrook says: ‘We’ve gotta save our tin/And all the garden gates and empty cans are gonna make us win…’."
Beaverbrook was one of eight notable Britons cited in Bjørge Lillelien’s famous "Your boys took a hell of a beating" commentary at the end of an English football team defeat to Norway in 1981, mentioned alongside British Prime Ministers Churchill, Thatcher and Attlee.
In the alternate history novel, Dominion by C. J. Sansom, Beaverbrook served as Prime Minister from 1945 to 1953, heading a coalition government that consisted of the pro-Treaty factions of the Conservative Party and Labour Party, as well as the British Union of Fascists.
In Jacqueline Winspear’s mystery series featuring Maisie Dobbs, Beaverbrook appears as the ruthless John Otterburn, press baron and Churchill’s minister of aviation, see Elegy for Eddie and Leaving Everything Most loved.