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About Marcus Lecky Oswald Hornby Birley
He was known as Mark Birley, was an British entrepreneur known for his investments in the hospitality industry. He was educated at Eton where he excelled at drawing, after doing his National Service he went up to University College, Oxford to read PPE but left after a year.
In 1962 Mark Birley founded Annabel's at Berkeley Square in the exclusive Mayfair district of London. The club was named for his wife, the former Lady Annabel Vane-Tempest-Stewart, and it was the first of its kind: a member-only nightclub that catered to an exclusive clientele, including Prince Charles, Prince of Wales.
In 1972 Birley opened Harry's Bar and continued to expand his portfolio in the restaurant, nightclub and hotel business. He became the owner of the Annabel's Group, which includes Mark Birley Holdings Limited. He launched a men's fragrance line, Mark Birley for Men, in 1996, in collaboration with the perfumers Frédéric Malle and Pierre Bourdon.
Mark Birley was the son of Sir Oswald Birley, the portrait painter, and his wife, the former Rhoda Pike. His sister, Maxime de la Falaise, became a noted fashion model of the 1950s and her daughter is Lou Lou de la Falaise who was a muse to the fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent.
On 10 March 1954 he married Lady Annabel Vane-Tempest-Stewart, daughter of the 8th Marquess of Londonderry. They had three children Rupert, Robin and India Jane.
Annabel Birley became the mistress of Birley's former friend Sir James Goldsmith, and gave birth to two of Goldsmith's children while she was still married to, but separated from, Birley. The Birleys divorced in 1975.
In 1986 Birley's son Rupert disappeared in Togo and was never found. His other son Robin was mauled as a child by a tiger at the private zoo of family friend John Aspinall, and badly scarred for life. In his last years, Birley was confined to a wheelchair. For a time, he turned over the reins of his businesses to his two children.
In 2006, however, Birley dismissed his son Robin on grounds of misconduct and returned to the helm of his empire which he ran with his daughter India Jane.
He died on 24 August 2007, aged 77, following a stroke.