Warwick's warm feeling

September 22, 2000

The secrets of the vodka millionaires behind the success of Warwick University have been revealed in a new book. Jack Martin, inventor of the Black Russian and other vodka-based cocktails, bought a small distillery from emigre Vladimir Smirnoff, whose Moscow business was nationalised after the Russian revolution.

In 1958, Mr Martin's reclusive sister Helen liked the idea of a new university so much that she set up a foundation, which has given the university Pounds 19 million so far. No doubt some of the takings from the university bar find their way back to the company...

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