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From bullied Ruthin poor kid to 100 million dollar man

Published date: 17 December 2012 |
Published by: Helen Davies
Read more articles by Helen Davies


 

A MULTI-millionaire who used to hide out in Ruthin Library to escape bullies has revealed how he transformed his life.

Trevor Blake, 52, moved to a derelict farmhouse in Clocaenog from Liverpool at the age of seven, but was picked on as a child because of his “shabby clothes”.

Now he is worth over £120 million and has just published his life story in a book called Three Simple Steps, which has been rated a top five hit by the New York Times, in a bid to help others turn their lives around.

Trevor puts the lessons he learnt about how to get on in life down to dozens of biographies he read at Ruthin Library, where he hid out from the bullies, like the child in the Hollywood blockbuster NeverEnding Story.

“As a child I suffered from sectarian bullying and at one time felt the weight of the world on me,” he said.

“In every biography I recognised how each person had to become a master of their mentality to get out of the quicksand of their life.

“Key to that control was their ability to think and react as an individual and not as a group, society or trend dictated.

“Using the same self-control I have changed my mentality from one of poverty to that of a multimillionaire and my lifestyle with it.”

The entrepreneur’s parents Audrey and Harry moved to the Vale of Clwyd after facing debts and eviction in Liverpool.

They moved into a derelict farmhouse where Trevor lived until he joined the Royal Navy in 1979.

“In winter the water pipes froze and we had to mash snow in the bath for water,” he said.

“There was no heating and doors and windows didn't fit. No one had lived in the house for at least 30 years and we had nowhere else to live.”

The former Ysgol Clocaenog and Ysgol Brynhyfryd pupil would visit Ruthin Library at every opportunity.

“It was the one place where people didn't judge my shabby clothes,” he said.

“I was just a welcome avid reader and the librarians got to know of my love of biographies and would keep them hidden for me.

“At least five times a week during school lunch time I went to the library and maybe two or three times after school and on Saturday mornings.

“Only my mother and the librarian knew where I was.”

After leaving school Trevor graduated from the Britannia Royal Naval College and obtained a degree in radiography from Durham University.

He then enjoyed a successful career as an executive in the biotechnology industry before moving to America at the age of 34.

In 2002 he started QOL Medical LLC, a specialty pharmaceutical company, with a few thousand dollars and in 2010 he sold it for more than $100 million.

The business, which was America's first virtual biotechnology company, developed five treatments for rare childhood diseases.

In 2005 Trevor, who now has homes in Seattle, California, and Spain, founded ANU Oncology, a unique not-for-profit firm dedicated to developing low side-effect cancer drugs.

He sold it last year, but still has 30 per cent ownership.

“We have three promising treatments for liver and breast cancer in development,” said Trevor.

“I decided to retire at 50, but then after pacing the kitchen floor for two weeks my wife threatened to murder me if I didn't start something new. So, I felt it time to write Three Simple Steps to give something back and hopefully inspire others to pursue their dreams.”

Although living in America, Trevor still thinks fondly of his time in North Wales.

“I want to set up a weekend outward bound type of retreat for kids like me who grow up in inner city Liverpool thinking the cows in the fields are just massive dogs,” he said.

“Moving to that amazing countryside changed me and my path and I will always be grateful for that. What was once called Clwyd is in my heart and blood and never leaves.”

Trevor’s parents are buried in Clocaenog churchyard. His sister  lives in North Wales and works for North Wales Police and he still keeps in touch with friends from Ysgol Brynhyfryd.

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