Sir Charles Clore (24 December 1904 – 26 July 1979) was a British financier, retail and property magnate and philanthropist.
Life and career
Clore was of Lithuanian Jewish background. Charles Clore owned, through Sears Holdings, the British Shoe Corporation and Lewis's department stores (which included Selfridges), as well as investing heavily in property.
He owned Jowett Cars Ltd from 1945–1947 where he was known as "Santa Clore" for his hoped-for financial investment. His philanthropic trust, the Clore Foundation, is a major donor to arts and Jewish community projects in Britain and abroad. The Clore Gallery at Tate Britain in London, which houses the world's largest collection of the works of J.M.W. Turner, was built in 1980–87 with £6 million from Clore and his daughter and £1.8 million from the British government.
Upon Sir Charles' death, Inland Revenue sued, claiming he was British domiciled (he had claimed Monaco domicile), in order to collect inheritance taxes. The court upheld the Inland Revenue position.
Clore was mentioned in the song "Sounding Brass", by Flanders and Swann, that satirises social climbing and the acquisition of status symbols:
Hell has just been taken overBigger, hotter, fire than yours.
By a friend of Charlie Clore's.
We've acquired a private furnace