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Allen Klein

Allen Klein was born in Newark on 18 December 1931 and spent several years in an orphanage after his mother’s death during his infancy. He was later raised by a grandmother and an aunt.

He graduated from Upsala College and served in the US Army before joining a Manhattan accounting firm. He eventually started his own firm, which later became ABKCO, in the late 1950s.


A no-holds-barred businessman who bulldozed his way into and out of deals with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, Klein became one of the most powerful figures in the music business in the 1960s but ended up feuding with some of his biggest clients.

His arrangements with The Beatles and the Stones both eventually spurred lawsuits, with some Beatles fans blaming Klein for contributing greatly to the tensions that broke up the group.

Known for his brashness, temper and tenacity in tracking down royalties and getting better record deals, Klein’s other music clients included Sam Cooke, Bobby Darin and Herman’s Hermits.

Klein was convicted of tax fraud in 1979 and served two months in prison for failing to report income from sales of promotional records by The Beatles and other groups; the records were supposed to be given away.

Klein died of Alzheimer’s disease in July 2009 at his New York City home. He was 77.