Charles Saatchi : biography
Charles Saatchi ( born 9 June 1943) is a British businessman and the co-founder with his brother Maurice of the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, and led that business – the world's largest advertising agency in the 1980s – until they were forced out in 1995. In the same year the Saatchi brothers formed a new agency called M&C Saatchi. Charles is also known as an art collector and owner of the Saatchi Gallery, and in particular for his sponsorship of the Young British Artists (YBAs), including Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin.
In his first advertising role as a copywriter in the London office of Benton & Bowles, where he met Doris Lockhart (later his first wife), Saatchi paired up with Art director Ross Cramer. They worked as a team at Collett Dickenson Pearce and John Collins & Partners before leaving in 1967 to open a creative consultancy CramerSaatchi.
Unusually for a creative consultancy, they took on employees – John Hegarty was their first, followed by Jeremy Sinclair, who as of 2011 still retains a senior role at M&C Saatchi. In addition to consulting to ad agencies they also took on some clients direct.
In 1970, he started the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi with his brother Maurice, which by 1986 had grown to be the largest agency in the world, with over 600 offices. Successful campaigns in the UK included Silk Cut cigarettes and the promotion of the Conservative Party led by Margaret Thatcher through the slogan "Labour Isn't Working". Eventually, he and his brother Maurice departed the agency and together founded the rival M&C Saatchi agency, taking many of their clients with them, including the British Airways advertising account.
Saatchi first met Doris Lockhart Dibley (as she was then known) in 1965 when she was a copy group head above him at Benton & Bowles. She was a native of Memphis, Tennessee and Kevin Goldman describes her as "a sophisticated woman who spoke several languages, knew a great deal about art and wine and who had graduated from Smith College and the Sorbonne". She became known during their marriage as an art and design journalist, with particular knowledge of American art and minimalism. They lived together for six yearsGoldman, p.39 before getting married in 1973 and divorcing in 1990.
Saatchi's second wife was Kay Hartenstein (married from 1990 to 2001), also American from Little Rock, Arkansas who was a Condé Nast advertising executive. Together they have a daughter Phoebe.
Saatchi married celebrity cook Nigella Lawson – his third wife – in 2003. In January 2011, Saatchi and Lawson moved from their former home in Belgravia to their new house in Chelsea, London. Their new home was a double fronted 7 bedroom villa converted from its former use as a warehouse and conveniently situated only 200 metres from Saatchi's contemporary art gallery in King's Road, London. They lived with her two children Cosima and Bruno, as well as Phoebe.Hilton, Beth. . Digital Spy, 2008-01-29. Retrieved on 2008-01-31.
According to the Times Online, he is "reclusive", even hiding from clients when they visited his agency's offices, and, as of February 2009, has only ever granted two newspaper interviews, though he has appeared on Nigella Lawson's television shows as a background guest. He does not attend his own exhibition openings; when asked why by The Sunday Telegraph, he replied: "I don't go to other people's openings, so I extend the same courtesy to my own." Both Hartenstein and Goldman refer to Saatchi's reclusiveness/shyness as a feint or "his shtick" affected to allow him to accept (or more often decline) invitations and social requests as he chooses.
In The Sunday Times Rich List 2009 ranking of the wealthiest people in the UK he was grouped with his brother Maurice and placed 438th with an estimated joint fortune of £120million.
In June 2013, at Scott's, a London seafood restaurant, he was photographed placing his hands around the neck of his wife.Victoria Ward , telegraph.co.uk, 16 June 2013 The day after the pictures were published, Saatchi said they were misleading and depicted only a "playful tiff". He was subsequently interviewed by police about it and accepted a caution for assault., independent.co.uk , 17 June 2013 Retrieved 17 June 2013. The BBC later reported his wife's agent had stated she had left with the children following the assault, but did not state whether this was temporary or permanent., BBC News, 18 June 2013 On 7 July, it was announced that the couple were to divorce., BBC News, 7 July 2013
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