Pubdate: Fri, 15 Apr 2016
Source: Pawtucket Times (RI)
Copyright: 2016 The Pawtucket Times
Author: Emily Langer, The Washington Post


Howard Marks, a Welsh-born, Oxford-trained drug smuggler who for 
years ran a globe-spanning marijuana ring, enraging officials and 
entertaining the public on both sides of the Atlantic as a 
countercultural scofflaw, died April 10. He was 70.

Mr. Marks revealed last year that he had inoperable bowel cancer, and 
his death was announced by Pan Macmillan, the publisher Mr. Smiley: 
My of his most recent book, Last Pill and Testament (2015). Other 
details were not immediately available.

Once described as "sounding like Richard Burton and looking like a 
Rolling Stone," Mr. Marks achieved celebrity and notoriety in a life 
that took him from a mining village to the University of Oxford, to 
prison, and finally to bestsellerdom with the release of his memoir 
Mr. Nice (1996).

"He was a product of the 1960s, a proletarian boy who shot into the 
heart of the British establishment and proceeded to laugh at it," 
David Leigh, a former investigations editor at the London Guardian 
and a biographer of Mr. Marks, said in an interview. "He had this 
kind of anarchic spirit and this beguiling smile and this 
recklessness that appealed to a lot of people. It makes some people 
in Britain very indignant when you say that."

An official with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration labeled Mr. 
Marks the "Marco Polo of the dope world" - others dubbed him "Narco 
Polo" - and he served seven years at a federal penitentiary after 
pleading guilty to racketeering charges in a Florida court in 1990.

According to the indictment, Mr. Marks and his associates had 
smuggled thousands of tons of marijuana and hashish into the United 
States and Canada through a criminal organization that had operated since 1970.
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