Lord Alan Sugar's Biography
Alan Michael Sugar was born on 24 March 1947, the son of a tailor.
Alan Sugar went to Brooke House School in London but left at 16 and was briefly a civil service statistician.
It wasn't long before Alan Sugar went into business selling products such as cigarette lighters, intercoms and TV aerials. Sugar founded the home electronics group Amstrad in 1968, the same year that he married his wife, Ann.
Amstrad and Business Success
In 1985 Sugar had a major breakthrough with the launch of the PCW8256 word processor which, although made of very cheap components, retailed at over £300.
At its peak Amstrad achieved a stock market valuation of £1.2 billion, but the nineties proved a troubled time. In 1997 Amstrad divided into Betacom and Viglen.
Lord Sugar's wealth was estimated to be £790 million and he was 71st on The Sunday Times Rich List in 2006.
An interesting episode in Lord Sugar's life was when he and Terry Venables got together to buy Tottenham Hotspur Football Club on June 21st 1991.
They beat off a late bid from Robert Maxwell for Spurs. In an interview with Channel 4's High Interest programme, Alan Sugar said:
"The only dialogue I had with Rupert Murdoch was when that clown Maxwell came on the scene and knowing that they were in the past arch enemies I think Rupert rang me up one day and said 'what's going on with this football club you're trying to buy and this clown Maxwell is trying to buy also', and I think I might have said to him at the time 'he's got the power of his newspaper to hype up the thing, I haven't got a newspaper so perhaps one of your journalists could put in a good word for me on The Sun, but that was about it"
A Sun headline appeared "20 things you never knew about Tel's Sugar Daddy".
Lord Sugar's relationship with Venables turned acrimonious and court battles ensued. Our Teddy Sheringham biography provides an example of the claims that Sugar made of the footballing world. Alan Sugar has stated that his time at Spurs was "a waste of my life".
Alan Sugar in The Apprentice era
In 2005 Alan Sugar entered the world of reality TV when he tested 14 apprentices in a new BBC TV series based on Donald Trump's successful US show The Apprentice.
Alan Sugar was knighted in 2000.
In December 2007, The Telegraph reported that Sir Alan Sugar was to step back from the day-to-day management of Amstrad, which he leaves at the end of June 2008, following its acquisition by BSkyB.
In July 2008 Lord Sugar stepped down as chairman of Amstrad, but he continued his involvement in his various other business interests including Amshold, Amsprop, Amsair and Viglen computers.
On 5 June 2009, Alan Sugar was appointed enterprise tsar in Gordon Brown's cabinet reshuffle. He was also set to be nominated for a seat in the House of Lords.
On 20 July 2009 he took his seat in the House of Lords as Baron Sugar of Clapton.
In 2010, Lord Sugar released his autobiography, What You See Is What You Get.
He later released another autobiographical work Unscripted, My Ten Years in Telly.
In 2015, Lord Sugar announced that he was leaving Labour because of his disillusionment with the party.
The following year, Lord Sugar was appointed as the government's enterprise tsar, a role similar to the one he had been given by Gordon Brown, when he was Prime Minister.
Back to Top