Edited extracts from an article written by David Marchant that appeared in the Bermuda Sun, February 18, 1994.

Bermuda-based oil magnate John Deuss has lived a life that is remarkable even among the rich and famous. Since his first car dealership went bust in the 1960s, he has outwitted the Soviets, broken an oil embargo in South Africa, had his home fire-bombed by anti-apartheid protesters and helped clinch the world's largest oil deal. In the process, this self-made Dutchman has made billions of dollars. Here are a few things you may or may not know about him:

Born Johannes Christiaan Martinus Augustinus Maria Deuss, the son of a garage owner from Nijmegen, Holland

His petro-dollars have bought him a string of homes around the world, Gulfstream jets and a magnificent 180-foot, three-masted schooner called 'Fluertje'.

Started his financial life as a dealer in Citroen cars at the age of 25. His second-hand car dealership in Holland went bust in 1967, owing 5.5 million Guilders.

Mr. Deuss apparently decided to go into the oil business during the 1973 oil crisis, putting together capital of $300,000 and forming Bermuda-based JOC Oil, an acronym for 'John's Own Company'.

In 1975, he formed Transworld Oil and Transworld Energy on the island and later incorporated Hydrocarbon Industries.

In 1976, Mr. Deuss hit the big time when he signed a contract with the Soviet Union's national oil company, Soujuznefteexport (SNE), to buy 3.85 billion tons of oil for re-sale to third parties.

But Mr. Deuss allegedly fell behind with his payments and the Soviets suspended deliveries in June, 1977 after 39 shipments of 1.28 million tons of oil and oil products.

A decade of bitter legal wrangling followed and the case was heard in the Bermuda Supreme Court, the Bermuda Court of Appeal and finally the Privy Council in England. Both sides claimed victory.

The company through which Mr. Deuss allegedly owed the money to the Soviets was Netherlands Antilles-based First Curacao International Bank - the same entity that he used in 1993 to buy a controlling 32 per cent stake in Bermuda Commercial Bank.

"He had this big villa where girls in bikinis were lounging around," said Dutch finance journalist Friso Endt, of NRC Handelsblatt, on meeting Mr. Deuss at the billionaire's Harrington Sound, Smith's Parish home [many years ago]. "A girl would bring him a telex about some deal and he would say 'yes' or 'no' and she would go away to carry out his orders. It was like something out of a Harold Robbins novel."

By the mid-1980s, Deuss was fabulously wealthy with an estimated net income of $1 million per week, according to De Telegraaf.

Started the fashion line Alexandra Christie in New York.

In 1984, the Observer newspaper in Britain revealed he had secretly delivered 60 million barrels of oil to South Africa over three years in defiance of an oil boycott against the country because of apartheid.

A week later, a terrorist group calling itself 'Pyromaniacs Against South Africa' firebombed his $6 million castle in Berg en Dal, Holland, causing extensive damage. Deuss was not at home during the attack and no-one was injured. Following the bombing, Mr. Deuss, who was already worried about possible assassination from the Soviet KGB, tightened security at all his homes around the world, including Deep Water, in Harrington Sound.

His South Africa connection - widely condemned around the world - caused barely a stir in Bermuda.

His importance to the South African economy was such that the Shipping Research Bureau, an Amsterdam-based anti-apartheid group, estimated that, in 1980, Mr. Deuss may have supplied as much as 20 per cent of the country's crude oil import requirement.

Journalist Friso Endt said of Mr. Deuss: "He never drinks or smokes, he likes women and he has very little humour. He's a complete workaholic. If the day had 48 hours in it, he would use them."

A particular non-business passion is horses - he owned the horse 'Irish', that won a bronze medal for the U.S. in the individual men's show-jumping event at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

Mr. Deuss is known for his acts of kindness to his staff - he once flew all his female workers in Bermuda to New York for the day to celebrate Mother's Day and one year sent 50 pizzas around to Bermuda Commercial Bank so the staff could eat lunch.

His contribution to the Bermuda economy has been huge: not only have his companies provided valuable employment and contribute millions of dollars in foreign currency revenues, but Mr. Deuss is also believed to be a quiet supporter of local charities. It was also widely understood that he contributed funds to the UBP and subsequently to the PLP not long before its first election victory in 1998.

Mr. Deuss also brings immense prestige to the island through the sheer enormity of his business dealings. For example, Mr. Deuss played a pivotal role in clinching the world's largest oil deal - a $230 billion agreement between U.S. giant Chevron and Kazakhstan, elevating his reputation as a brilliant businessman of great influence in the oil world. He participated in the deal as president of Bermuda-based OOC, which represents Oman's international oil interests.

Asked by U.S. magazine Newsweek in 1985 why money was so important to him, Mr. Deuss is reported to have replied: "Don't you understand that it's a question of power and money means power. It's as simple as that."

Additional reporting by Coggie Gibbons. Copyright: Bermuda Sun.