He and Rupert Murdoch were bitter rivals. Like Murdoch he had involvements with politics, standing for the Labour party and owning newspapers that were very supportive of Labour.
In 1969 he tried to take over an American company but was knocked back after an investigation concluded that "We regret having to conclude that, notwithstanding Mr Maxwell's acknowledged abilities and energy, he is not in our opinion a person who can be relied on to exercise proper stewardship of a publicly quoted company."
He took over the British Printing Corporation in 1980 and lost out owning The Sun and The NotW to Murdoch. He did succeed with the Mirror Group however.
The pensions scandal was only one of many scandals that dogged him throughout his life and was by no means the worst scandal he had overcome.
Exactly what happened to him in 1991 is unclear. Suicide was ruled out after it was found that he had clung to the side of the yacht with his arm (tearing his muscles). 'Tis indeed a mystery. I shall say no more.
It's so easy for these very large men to lean right over their expensive yachts and fall to their deaths isn't it? Especially in the middle of the night with all that sealife to observe just over the rails...
mrsdonkeybucket - they found his bloated corpse in the sea. If they hadn't I might agree with you.
The circumstances are strange. He last communicated with the mainland at around 4.45am complaining about his air conditioning which might explain why he was nude. 12 hours later his body was found by a Spanish fisherman. He was alone in his yacht which had a rail all the way around it. He would either have to decided to have jumped or he leaned right over for some reason and fell in or he was pushed.
Suicide is unlikely as there was no indication he had ever been in that frame of mind. Yes he was syphoning money from pensions but he had overcome worse scandals than that and this was hardly enough to make him lose sleep. Plus there is evidence that he clung on with his left arm, which he was unlikely to have done if he had jumped.
So if not suicide, how would a man of his bulk manage to dangle so far over the rails as to fall? What would he be doing? Looking at the fish? In the nude?