Events Before and After Conrad Black's Trial

Key events in former press baron Conrad Black's life and legal saga:

  • Aug. 25, 1944: Conrad Moffat Black is born in Montreal to a wealthy brewing family. At age 14, he is expelled from a prestigious Toronto school for stealing and selling exams. He later earns a law degree and a master's in history.
  • 1967: Black buys a half interest in two Quebec weeklies for C$500. In 1969, he and former partner David Radler buy the Sherbrooke Record, his first daily newspaper, in Quebec.
  • 1985: Black buys stake in London's Daily Telegraph. In 1989, he buys controlling interest in Jerusalem Post and in 1998 he publishes the National Post.

Conrad Black arriving at a federal courthouse on June 18, 2007.
M. Spencer Green
Conrad Black arriving at a federal courthouse on June 18, 2007.

  • 1998: Black and Radler begin selling off Hollinger International Inc. media properties to pay off bank debt.
  • 1999: Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien blocks Black from joining Britain's House of Lords. In 2001, Black renounces Canadian citizenship and becomes Lord Black of Crossharbour. Last year, he said he wants to become a Canadian again.
  • Nov. 17, 2003: Internal investigation by Hollinger International finds unauthorized payments to executives, and Black resigns as chief executive, then is ousted as chairman.
  • June 2004: Black loses court battle to Hollinger International over sale to British billionaire brothers David and Frederick Barclay, who buy the Telegraph Group.
  • Aug. 2004: Hollinger International special committee reports that Black oversaw a "corporate kleptocracy" that looted the publisher of hundreds of millions of dollars. Company's suit against Black and others seeks $542 million.
  • April 2005: Black and Radler resign from holding company Ravelston Corp., which wins bankruptcy protection in Canada. Two weeks before Black's trial Ravelston, through receiver, pleads guilty and agrees to pay $7 million fine.
  • Aug. 18, 2005: Fraud charges announced against Black, Radler, corporate attorney Mark Kipnis and Ravelston. Racketeering, money laundering, and obstruction of justice charges added later. Black and Kipnis plead not guilty.
  • Sept. 20, 2005: Radler pleads guilty in deal with prosecutors and agrees to testify against Black in exchange for 29-month prison sentence, to be served near home in Vancouver, British Columbia.
  • July 13: Federal court jury in Chicago finds Black guilty on multiple criminal charges, which included fraud and obstruction of justice.