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Natasha Hicks
Natasha Hicks

The Adventures of Mr Nice: Howard Marks' Autobiography of His Cannabis Smuggling Career and Beyond

Howard Marks: The Man Behind Mr Nice


If you are looking for a thrilling and captivating crime memoir, you might want to check out Mr Nice by Howard Marks. It is the autobiography of one of Britain's most notorious and eccentric drug lords, who had 43 aliases, 89 phone lines, and 25 companies across the world. In this article, we will tell you more about Howard Marks, his book Mr Nice, and how you can read it online as a PDF file.

howard marks mr nice book pdf


Who is Howard Marks and why is he famous?

Howard Marks was born in 1945 in Kenfig Hill, Wales. He was a bright student who won a scholarship to study at Oxford University, where he graduated with a degree in physics. He also developed a taste for cannabis, which led him to become involved in smuggling and dealing drugs. He soon became one of the biggest cannabis traffickers in the world, working with various organizations such as MI6, CIA, IRA and Mafia. He was also known for his charisma, humor and intelligence, which earned him the nickname Mr Nice.

What is Mr Nice and what does it tell about his life?

Mr Nice is the title of Howard Marks' autobiography, which he wrote after serving seven years in prison for drug trafficking. It was published in 1996 and became a bestseller in the UK. It tells the story of his remarkable life, from his childhood in Wales to his rise and fall as a drug baron. It also reveals his adventures, escapades and encounters with various people and places around the world. It is a candid, funny and fascinating account of a man who lived on the edge of the law.

How can you read Mr Nice online as a PDF file?

If you are interested in reading Mr Nice, you might be wondering how you can access it online as a PDF file. There are several ways to do so, but one of the easiest and most convenient ones is to use Scribd. Scribd is an online platform that offers millions of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines and more. You can sign up for a free trial and download or read Mr Nice as an ebook on your device. You can also browse other related titles on Scribd, such as Mastering the Market Cycle by Howard Marks, a book on investing by his cousin.

The Early Life of Howard Marks

His childhood and education in Wales

Howard Marks was born on August 13, 1945, in Kenfig Hill, a small mining village in Wales. He was the eldest of three children of Dennis and Edna Marks, who were both teachers. He grew up in a modest but happy family, and showed a great aptitude for learning. He attended the Garw Grammar School, where he excelled in mathematics and science. He also developed a love for music, literature and chess. He won a scholarship to study at Balliol College, Oxford, one of the most prestigious colleges in the UK.

His involvement with cannabis and smuggling at Oxford

At Oxford, Howard Marks studied physics and philosophy, and graduated with an upper second-class honors degree in 1967. He also became involved with the counterculture movement, which was influenced by the hippie subculture and the anti-war protests. He started smoking cannabis, which he found to be enjoyable and harmless. He also began smuggling small amounts of hashish from Germany and Morocco, using his connections with fellow students and friends. He soon realized that there was a huge demand and profit for cannabis in the UK, and decided to expand his operations.

His first arrest and escape in Germany

In 1973, Howard Marks was arrested in Germany for smuggling 50 kilos of hashish from Pakistan. He was facing a possible life sentence, but he managed to escape from custody with the help of his contacts in MI6, the British intelligence service. He claimed that he was working as an informant for MI6, and that they had arranged his release. He then fled to Spain, where he continued his smuggling activities under a new alias: Anthony Tunnicliffe.

The Rise and Fall of a Drug Baron

His aliases, phone lines and companies

Over the next decade, Howard Marks became one of the most successful and notorious drug traffickers in the world. He used various aliases, such as Donald Nice, Mr Nice, Anthony Tunnicliffe, Dennis Howard and many more. He also had dozens of phone lines and bank accounts in different countries, which he used to communicate and transfer money. He also set up several front companies, such as recording studios, travel agencies and offshore banks, which he used to launder his drug money and evade taxes.

His contacts with MI6, CIA, IRA and Mafia

Howard Marks also had contacts with various organizations and individuals that helped him in his smuggling operations. He claimed that he worked with MI6 on several occasions, such as delivering weapons to the IRA in Ireland, transporting hostages from Lebanon to Syria, and infiltrating a terrorist group in Libya. He also said that he had dealings with the CIA, who offered him protection and information in exchange for his cooperation. He also worked with the IRA, who provided him with safe houses and transport in Ireland. He also had connections with the Mafia, who supplied him with cannabis from Italy and Sicily.

His biggest consignments and operations

Howard Marks was involved in some of the biggest consignments and operations of cannabis in history. Some of his most notable ones include:

  • In 1978, he smuggled 15 tons of Lebanese hashish into Britain on a yacht called The White Lady, which he bought from a member of Pink Floyd.

  • In 1980, he smuggled 30 tons of Pakistani hashish into Canada on a fishing boat called The Celtic Crusader, which he disguised as a scientific expedition.

  • In 1981, he smuggled 25 tons of Colombian marijuana into Florida on a plane called The Starship Enterprise, which he rented from Led Zeppelin.

  • In 1984, he smuggled 20 tons of Thai marijuana into California on a plane called The Flying Saucer, which he painted with psychedelic colors.

  • In 1986, he smuggled 10 tons of Moroccan hashish into Britain on a truck called The Big Red Bus, which he decorated with slogans such as "Legalize Cannabis" and "Free Nelson Mandela".

His worldwide manhunt and capture by DEA

The Prison Years and Beyond

His sentence and release from Terre Haute Penitentiary

In 1990, Howard Marks was sentenced to 25 years in prison by a federal court in Florida for racketeering and drug trafficking. He was transferred to the Terre Haute Penitentiary in Indiana, a high-security facility that housed some of the most dangerous criminals in the US. He spent most of his time reading, writing and meditating. He also taught physics and philosophy to other inmates, and became friends with some of them, such as the Native American activist Leonard Peltier. He also maintained contact with his family and friends through letters and visits.

His writing and publishing of Mr Nice

In 1995, Howard Marks was released from prison after serving seven years of his sentence. He had been eligible for parole since 1993, but had been denied several times due to his refusal to cooperate with the authorities or admit his guilt. He returned to Britain, where he was greeted by a large crowd of supporters and journalists. He decided to write his autobiography, which he titled Mr Nice, after one of his aliases. He wrote it in six months, with the help of his friend and ghostwriter Patrick Lane. He published it in 1996, and it became an instant bestseller in the UK. It was also translated into 14 languages and sold over a million copies worldwide.

His popularity and fame as a public figure

After the publication of Mr Nice, Howard Marks became a popular and famous public figure. He was invited to appear on various TV shows, radio programs and magazines. He also gave lectures and talks at universities, festivals and events. He became an advocate for the legalization of cannabis and other drugs, and campaigned for changes in drug policies and laws. He also supported various causes and charities, such as Amnesty International, Greenpeace and Oxfam. He also ventured into other fields of entertainment, such as music, comedy and film. He collaborated with musicians such as Super Furry Animals, Massive Attack and Oasis. He performed stand-up comedy shows based on his life story. He also acted in several films, such as Human Traffic, I Know You Know and Mr Nice, a biopic based on his book.

His death and legacy

In 2014, Howard Marks was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. He underwent chemotherapy and surgery, but the cancer spread to his liver and lungs. He announced his condition publicly in 2015, and thanked his fans for their support and love. He died on April 10, 2016, at his home in Leeds, England. He was 70 years old. He is survived by his four children: Amber (from his first marriage to Ilze Kadegis), Francesca, Patrick and Myfanwy (from his second marriage to Judy Lane). His death was mourned by many people who admired him for his courage, humor and intelligence. His legacy lives on through his book Mr Nice, which remains a classic of its genre.


In this article, we have told you about Howard Marks, the man behind Mr Nice. We have shown you how he went from being a brilliant student at Oxford to becoming one of the most notorious drug smugglers in the world. We have also shown you how he wrote his autobiography after leaving prison, and how he became a famous and influential public figure. We hope you have enjoyed reading this article, and that you have learned something new about Howard Marks.

A summary of the main points of the article

  • Howard Marks was a Welsh drug trafficker who had 43 aliases, 89 phone lines, and 25 companies across the world.

  • He smuggled thousands of tons of cannabis from various countries to the UK, US and Canada.

  • He worked with various organizations such as MI6, CIA, IRA and Mafia.

  • He was arrested several times but managed to escape or get acquitted.

  • He was eventually sentenced to 25 years in prison by the US DEA.

  • He wrote his autobiography Mr Nice after leaving prison.

  • He became a popular and famous public figure who advocated for drug legalization and supported various causes.

  • He died of colorectal cancer in 2016.

A recommendation to read Mr Nice as a PDF file

If you are interested in reading Mr Nice, we recommend that you download or read it online as a PDF file. You can do so by using Scribd, an online platform that offers millions of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines and more. You can sign up for a free trial and access Mr Nice as an ebook on your device. You can also browse other related titles on Scribd, such as Mastering the Market Cycle by Howard Marks, a book on investing by his cousin. We hope you enjoy reading Mr Nice and learning more about Howard Marks.


Is Mr Nice a true story?

Mr Nice is a true story, based on the autobiography of Howard Marks. However, some details may have been changed or embellished by the author for dramatic or comedic effect. Some critics have also questioned the accuracy and reliability of some of his claims, such as his involvement with MI6 and CIA.

How many languages is Mr Nice translated into?

Mr Nice is translated into 14 languages, including Spanish, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Polish, Czech, Hungarian and Japanese.

Is there a movie adaptation of Mr Nice?

Yes, there is a movie adaptation of Mr Nice, released in 2010. It was directed by Bernard Rose and starred Rhys Ifans as Howard Marks, Chloe Sevigny as Judy Lane, David Thewlis as James McCann and Crispin Glover as Ernie Combs. Howard Marks also made a cameo appearance as himself in the film.

What was Howard Marks' net worth at his peak?

It is difficult to estimate Howard Marks' net worth at his peak, as he had various sources of income and assets that were hidden or laundered. However, some reports suggest that he made over $100 million from his drug smuggling operations in the 1970s and 1980s.

How did Howard Marks die?

Howard Marks died of colorectal cancer on April 10, 2016. He had been diagnosed with the disease in 2014, and underwent chemotherapy and surgery. However, the cancer spread to his liver and lungs. He announced his condition publicly in 2015, and thanked his fans for their support and love. He died at his home in Leeds, England. 71b2f0854b


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