Felix Dennis is heralded as one of Britain's most successful self-made entrepreneurs. Ranked 134th on The Sunday Times Rich List and worth £500 million, he has simultaneously undertaken the role of publisher, poet and savvy entrepreneur.
Born in Kingston-upon-Thames in 1947, Dennis spent a great deal of his youth playing in R&B bands. After leaving Harrow College of Art, Dennis became co-editor of Oz, an underground counter culture magazine. Dennis found himself involved in the notorious Old Bailey conspiracy trial against Oz in 1971 for which he was acquitted.
In 1973 Felix Dennis launched Dennis Publishing and pioneered personal computer magazine publishing in the USA and the UK. The business is today responsible for publishing over 50 magazines, websites and mobile sites, including The Week, Men’s Fitness, evo, Auto Express, PC Pro, Octane and Viz. Dennis Publishing has transformed itself from a traditional ink-on-paper publisher into a multi-platform content provider with over 250,000 people visiting its websites every day. Felix Dennis was awarded the Marcus Morris Award in 1991, the highest accolade in UK magazine publishing
Aside from publishing, Dennis co-founded a $2.5 billion computer mail order company, MicroWarehouse, in 1987 and has written the best-selling book, How to Get Rich. Today, Felix Dennis remains the sole owner of Dennis Publishing, with headquarters in the UK and offices in the USA, Australia and India.
After a life-threatening illness, Dennis began writing poetry and authored his first book of verse, A Glass Half Full, in 2002. Four more poetry books have followed.
Dennis spends up to four hours each day studying and writing verse. His Did I Mention the Free Wine? poetry tours have entertained thousands of poetry-lovers on both sides of the Atlantic. His poetry has been regularly featured on radio programmes, in the national press, and in two major television documentaries, as well as having garnered critical acclaim from Tom Wolfe, Christopher Rush, Jon Snow, Stephen Fry, Dawn French and Sir Paul McCartney, to name but a few.
The Tree Planter
Felix began planting trees in the late 1990s, and has since cemented his passion for British forestry by setting up the Heart of England Forest Project charity, dedicated to planting a substantial native broadleaf forest in the Heart of England. Between his personal country estate and the Heart of England Forest, over 1,300 acres of woodland have now been planted. Planting proceeds at the rate of approximately 300 acres per year. All proceeds from Felix Dennis’s poetry tours are donated to the Heart of England Forest Project charity.
- 1947 Born to working class parents in Kingston-upon-Thames.
- 1971 Defended by John Mortimer in the longest conspiracy trial in British history.
- 1971 Made a chart single with John Lennon.
- 1972 Had his portrait drawn by the artist, David Hockney.
- 1973 Launched his publishing company that has since employed thousands of people.
- 1975 Co-authored international best-selling biography of Muhammad Ali.
- 1979 Pioneered personal computer magazine publishing in the USA and the UK.
- 1985 Founder member of The Groucho Club, Soho.
- 1987 Co-founded what became a $2.5 billion dollar NASDAQ listed company in the USA.
- 1991 Recipient of the Periodical Publishers Association's Marcus Morris Award for
services to publishing.
- 1994 Began commissioning the UK’s largest collection of original figurative bronze sculpture, The Garden of Heroes & Villains.
- 1995 Launched the world’s largest-selling men’s lifestyle magazine, Maxim.
- 1996 Became proprietor of what has become the UK’s most subscribed-to magazine, The Week.
- 1997 Built, stocked and donated the Mustique Community Library to the people of Mustique.
- 1999 Built the largest traditional oak-framed residence erected in Britain in 250 years.
- 2001 Founded the Forest of Dennis registered charity (now renamed Heart of England Forest Project).
- 2002 Published first book of verse, A Glass Half Full, to popular and critical acclaim.
- 2002 Made a Fellow of The National Library for the Blind.
- 2003/2004 Poetry performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company in the UK and USA.
- 2004 Made a Fellow of The Wordsworth Trust.
- 2007 Appeared as a ‘castaway’ on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Desert Island Discs’.
- 2008 US author and critic Tom Wolfe calls Dennis: "the finest poet of the 21st century".
- 2008 Recipient of the British Society of Magazine Editors Mark Boxer Award.
- 2008 Rescued the oldest established colour book printer and binder in the UK, Butler & Tanner.
- 2008/2009 Dennis Publishing listed as the only publisher on The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For.
- 2009 Recipient of the Belsky Medal from The Society of Portrait Sculptors 2009 - Ranked 134th on The Sunday Times Rich List Has pledged his fortune to the creation of a large, native, broadleaf forest in the Heart of England. Currently owns 50 magazines and websites worldwide on four continents .
Visit Felix Dennis's website
“Felix Dennis has done a restoration job on the state of poetry in this country… In an age when poets have forgotten how to sing, or scorn to do so, he sings like the Heavenly Muse.”
- Christopher Rush
“Marvellous stuff… a 21st-century Kipling.”
- Tom Wolfe
“Felix Dennis is the real thing - I love reading his verse and you will too.”
- Stephen Fry
“A fantastic collection! Rich, sumptuous and beautifully threaded.”
- Jon Snow
“He invokes sorrow as fast as regret, pain as readily as passion, and love as tenderly as murderous rage.”
- Shirley Conran OBE
“His poetry sings like a summer breeze through the fairground.”
- Sir Paul McCartney