British Porn King Paul Raymond Dead

British Porn King Paul Raymond Dead
Stephen Yagielowicz
LONDON — Paul Raymond, the so-called "King of Soho," has died at the age of 82 from an unspecified illness following a hospital stay.

Raymond, who was born Geoffrey Anthony Quinn in November, 1925, was reportedly worth in excess of $1.3 billion, and was remembered by the Times Online as a "Porn baron, impresario and property magnate who made his name with nude revues and died rich, lonely and embittered."

Raymond stepped onto the adult stage in 1951 with his launch of the Festival of Nudes, a topless vaudeville show featuring women that remained perfectly still in order to comply with regulations forbidding movement by nude performers on a theatrical stage.

Raymond's big break came after learning that private clubs were exempted from the "nude movements" regulation, leading to his opening of the Raymond Revuebar in 1958 — the only British venue to offer live striptease shows at the time.

Raymond also is credited with inventing high-quality glossy men's magazines with the 1971 launch of Men Only, followed a year later by Club International.

After a 1977 crackdown on London's sex shops, Raymond entered the real estate market, taking advantage of falling property prices to acquire an estimated 90 acres of downtown London and surrounding areas.

"He was a great mentor for me. He was always there to help me. He has been a close family friend for a very long time and he will be sadly missed," said Mark Fuller, a co-owner with Raymond of the Embassy Restaurant and Members Club. "He was an icon of Britain and he is proof that you can come from nothing and do something with your life."

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