March 3, 2008 / 8:35 PM / 11 years ago

Porn king Paul Raymond dies aged 82

LONDON (Reuters) - Paul Raymond, a porn baron who became one of the largest landlords in London’s Soho district, has died at the age of 82.

Raymond, who lived his last days in a flat next to the Ritz Hotel, leaves a property fortune estimated at 650 million pounds, the Evening Standard reported on Monday.

His success was founded on the Raymond Revue Bar strip club, opened in Soho in 1958, which got round strict licensing laws by operating as a club.

Later he owned a string of soft-porn magazines including Mayfair, Razzle and Men Only.

In the 1970s he re-invested the profits from his club and magazine empire into property in Soho and west London.

The son of a Liverpool haulage contractor, he left school at 15 and served in the Royal Air Force in the Second World War as a bandsman.

He sold nylons and petrol coupons on the side, telling one interviewer years later: “I was a total spiv.”

The Revue Bar closed in 2004 and sales of his top-shelf magazines dwindled in the face of internet competition and “lad’s mags” like FHM and Loaded.

But his property company continued to prosper, reporting profits of just under 17 million pounds last year.

His daughter Debbie died in 1992 aged 36 from an accidental drugs overdose.

Reporting by Tim Castle

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