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Michael Harris Caine

Sir Michael Harris Caine (17 June 1927 – 20 March 1999)[1] was an English businessman. He headed Booker Bros and Booker plc, and helped establish the Man Booker Prize. A president of the Royal African Society, he created the Caine Prize and later also the Russian Booker Prize.


Michael Harris Caine was born in Welwyn Garden City on 17 June 1927, the son of economist Sydney Caine who was later director of the London School of Economics. Michael Caine attended Bedales School and studied at the University of Oxford, receiving there his bachelor's degree after writing on slavery and secession in the United States. He received his master's degree at George Washington University. He was an executive and board member at Booker plc, and helped establish the Man Booker Prize, using the Prix Goncourt as a model. Caine became chief executive from 1975 to 1979 and finally chairman until 1993, the year he retired. He was also chairman of the Booker Prize Management Committee.[1][2]

Caine headed and maintained several Africa-based companies and organizations, including the Royal African Society, Africa Center, African Emerging Markets Fund, Africa '95 and the United Kingdom Council for Overseas Students. For his philanthropic work he was knighted in 1988. With his first wife, Janice Mercer, he had one son and one daughter, but divorced her in 1987 to marry Emma Nicholson that same year.

Caine was frequently confused with the actor Michael Caine; his second wife responded "An enormous number of times. The phone would ring in the middle of the night, and there would be these inebriated women calling from Los Angeles saying, 'I'm coming over, I'm on the next plane, get my room ready.'".[citation needed] He died on 20 March 1999 in London.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b c Ion Trewin (24 March 1999). "Obituary: Sir Michael Caine". The Independent. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  2. ^ a b Warren Hoge (24 March 1999). "Sir Michael Caine, 71, Muse Behind Britain's Booker Prize". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 February 2013.