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.
In September 1980 thieves stole 19 paintings from Clore's Monaco apartment, including works by Renoir, Monet, Pissaro and Utillo. Clore's butler was found lying on the floor of the apartment after the theft, claiming that he had been attacked by the thieves, but was later found to have collaborated with them. The butler later committed suicide in Monaco's prison.
Clore was loosely connected to the Profumo affair, being a client of Christine Keeler. Clore was depicted in Andrew Lloyd-Webber's musical based on the affair, Stephen Ward the Musical. In 2014 Clore's daughter, Vivien Duffield, saw the musical with William Astor, whose father, William Astor, 3rd Viscount Astor, was also depicted.
- Richard Davenport-Hines, "Clore, Sir Charles (1904–1979)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
- Critiques of the Clore Gallery
- "Butler's suicide". The Guardian, August 6, 1981.
- "An English Affair: Sex, Class and Power in the Age of Profumo by Richard Davenport-Hines – review". The Guardian. 4 January 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
- "William Astor: My father, his swimming pool and the Profumo scandal". The Spectator. 11 January 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2015.