Aristotle Onassis was a Greek shipping magnate and one of the world’s wealthiest individuals in the 20th century.
His fortune was amassed in a number of methods, but the Suez Canal acquisition cemented his position as the world’s richest man.
In the aftermath of the Smyrna disaster, Onassis and his family abandoned their home in September 1922, when he was just sixteen years old, and relocated in Greece. He left Athens a year later, opting to settle in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
After experiencing numerous trials and being forced to live in poverty for years, Onassis was unafraid to dream large. And his ambitions were enormous.
He was also known for his high-profile relationships and marriages. Here are ten facts about Aristotle Onassis:
1. Early Life: Aristotle Onassis was born on January 20, 1906, in Smyrna, which is now Izmir, Turkey. He was born into a wealthy family and had a comfortable upbringing.
2. Shipping Empire: Onassis is primarily known for building a vast shipping empire. He started by purchasing and operating his first ships during the interwar years and later expanded his fleet to become one of the world’s leading shipping magnates.
3. Monaco Residency: He later moved to Monaco, a tax haven, which allowed him to protect his wealth and investments while avoiding significant taxation.
4. Marriage to Tina Livanos: Onassis married Athina Livanos, the daughter of another Greek shipping tycoon, Stavros Livanos, in 1946. This marriage expanded his shipping interests further.
5. Aristotle Socrates Onassis: He had a son, Alexander Onassis, with his first wife Tina. However, their son tragically died in a plane crash in 1973.
6. Marriage to Jacqueline Kennedy: Onassis is perhaps most famous for his marriage to Jacqueline Kennedy, the widow of President John F. Kennedy. They married in 1968, which brought him even more attention in the international media.
7. Island of Skorpios: Onassis owned the Greek island of Skorpios, which served as a private retreat and played host to various celebrities, politicians, and public figures.
8. Business Ventures: In addition to his shipping interests, Onassis was involved in various other businesses, including airlines, real estate, and the petroleum industry.
9. Controversial Reputation: He was known for his controversial business practices, often engaging in ruthless competition and manipulation to expand his shipping empire.
10. Legacy and Death: Aristotle Onassis died on March 15, 1975, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. His legacy is mixed, with some viewing him as a shrewd businessman and others as a ruthless opportunist. His estate and business interests were managed by his daughter, Christina Onassis, after his death.
Aristotle Onassis remains a complex and influential figure in the world of business and international high society.