HOWARD MARKS, who became world famous with the release of the film Mr Nice starring Rhys Ifans, and two books about his life, Mr Nice and Señor Nice was a drug smuggler who was treated as a modern day Robin Hood.
Having been diagnosed with bowel cancer and knowing that it was inoperable, he fought it for as long as he could but finally succumbed to the disease on April 10 and a statement was released saying: “In the early hours of 10th April 2016, Howard Marks died peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his four loving children.
“He fought the illness with grace and humour.
“His death was 21 years to the day since his release from prison in the United States, his second bout of imprisonment for cannabis smuggling since his miraculous acquittal at the Old Bailey in 1980.
“One of his last acts was to set up the Mr Nice foundation, to ensure the causes dear to him continue to receive his support.”
He appeared to have had a charmed life as a drug dealer, which he stumbled in to as a way of earning money but at the height of his ‘fame’ during the 1980s, he reportedly had 43 aliases, 89 phone lines and companies trading throughout the world.
In 1988, he was extradited from Spain to the USA where he was sentenced to 25 years in prison and released on parole in 1995 for good behaviour.
So well-known was he, Marks having gained considerable publicity for his one man show and stood for election to Parliament in 1997 on the single plank of reforming cannabis laws.