Tiny Rowland Biography

Roland "Tiny" Rowland (27 November 1917 – 25 July 1998) was a British businessman and chairman of the Lonrho conglomerate from 1962 to 1994. He gained fame from a number of high-profile takeover bids, in particular his bid to take control of Harrods.

Rowland, originally Roland Walter Fuhrhop, was born on 27 November 1917 in a World War I detention camp for aliens in India, as the child of an Anglo-Dutch mother and a German trader father. After World War I the Fuhrhops were refused entry to the United Kingdom, and settled in Hamburg, Germany. He was said to have been nicknamed "Tiny" by his nanny because of his large size. In the 1930s, he was briefly in the Hitler Youth.


His father, who despised Adolf Hitler, moved the family to the United Kingdom in 1937, where his son attended Churcher's College, Hampshire.

Rowland then worked for his uncle's shipping business in the City of London. He took his uncle's surname, 'Rowland' on his 22nd birthday. On the outbreak of World War II, he was conscripted into the British Army, where he served with the Royal Army Medical Corps. As enemy aliens, his parents were interned on the Isle of Man, where his mother died. He himself was interned as an enemy alien after trying to arrange for the release of his father.