I confess I didn’t really know who Marc Rich was when the commodities trader’s unexpected pardon from Bill Clinton came through in January 2001. As the FT’s New York bureau chief at the time – and duty reporter that Sunday – I had to find out quickly. It was a tortuous story that will be retold many times in the coming days, following the announcement of his death on Wednesday.
You can read Rich’s official online biography or the less flattering Wikipedia version, both of which, interestingly, are referenced in the formal press release from the Marc Rich group announcing his passing. What strikes me, however, is the effort and money he must have spent over the past decades to ensure his story would be told in a positive way.