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Lord James Hanson's Biography

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James Edward Hanson was born on 20 January 1922 in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.

The industrial magnate's first high-profile romance was with the actress Jean Simmons. Whereas this association did not last long, he stayed with yet-to-be-famous Audrey Hepburn for two years and got engaged to her.

After the relationship failed, Lord Hanson and colleague Gordon White were regulars on the California party circuit and became close to the likes of Joan Collins and Grace Kelly.

Hanson was knighted in 1976 in what became known as Harold Wilson's 'lavender list', but it was to the Conservatives that Hanson was most attached. In particular, Lord Hanson was an admirer of Margaret Thatcher and was a significant contributor to Tory Party coffers.

Hanson received his peerage in 1983. Lord Hanson together with Lord White built up a huge industrial empire mainly via large-scale predatory takeovers.

Lord Hanson died on November 2, 2004.

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