Birthday: January 15, 1906
Died At Age: 69
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Born in: Smyrna, Ottoman Empire
Famous as: Business magnate
Quotes By Aristotle Onassis
Spouse/Ex-: Athina Livanos (m. 1946-1960) Jacqueline Lee Bouvier
mother: Penelope Dologu
siblings: Artemis Garoufalid, Kalliroe (half-sister), Merope (half-sister)
children: Alexander, Christina
Died on: March 15, 1975
place of death: Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
Founder/Co-Founder: Olympic Maritime and Olympic Tourist, Olympic Airways and Air Navigation
education: Evangelical Greek School
Aristotle Onassis’ life is a perfect rag to riches story. He grew up from nobody to a global business magnate who ruled the world as one of the world’s richest men. Born in a financially well-off household, he experienced a privileged upbringing but the good times did not last long as the family lost its business and household, after the Turkey’s invasion of Greece and the subsequent Great Fire of Smyra. Onassis started afresh as an employee in the telephone exchange but with ambitions and dreams that surpassed the business tycoons of the world. Soon, he started making business deals which fetched him lots of money. He then started a business empire, manufacturing cigarettes which not just made him a millionaire but a business tycoon. He propelled further, diversifying his business interests, by obtaining a shipping business. No sooner he became a Geek Argentine shipping magnate. Throughout his life, he was known for his huge expanse of business, whopping monetary account and tempestuous romantic relationships. To know in details about his life and career, read through the following lines.
Childhood & Early Life
Aristotle Onassis was born to Socrates and Penelope Dologu in Karatass, surburb of Smyra. He was the only son of the couple who were blessed with a daughter Artemis. He had two half-sisters as well.
Born in a financially secure household, young Onassis had the privilege to attain education at prestigious schools. By the time he turned 16, he gained a mastery over four languages. He graduated from the local Evangelical Greek School.
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After the Turkey’s invasion of Greece and the subsequent Great Fire of Smyra, he left for Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1923, where he found job as a telephone engineer at the British United River Plate Telephone Company.
It was during his time as a telephone engineer that he started eavesdropping on important business calls and used the information gained from the same to make his own deals. No sooner he started securing big deals which brought in a lot of money.
It was while overhearing a conversation that the idea struck him to revive his father’s tobacco business. He imported tobacco from Turkey and started looking to make a business deal.
Failing to secure a deal for his tobacco, he turned to manufacturing his own brand of cigarettes. The business thrived and so did his reputation and financial worth. He soon made a considerable amount of money and became a drawing influence in the social circle with escalating power.
Shortly, he realized that shipping merchants were making more money than cigarette manufactures by transporting tobacco. Ambitious as he was, he started buying ships at a time when people were moving out of the shipping business. It took him a few days to expand his fleet.
In 1928, he made a trade agreement with Greece. During this time, he became involved in a lot of illegitimate activities, such as smuggling, bribing and so on. He even sabotaged his competitors and fraudulently used the name of established and famous cigarette companies.
The 1000% increase in tax on imported goods in 1929 brought in a big blow for his South American business ventures. However, not the one to give up easily, he extensively bribed Greek ministers to gain an exemption from tax. He repeated the feat yet again in 1931.
From 1950 to 1956, he found monetary success whaling off the Peruvian coast. In his very first deal, he made a whooping profit of $4.5 million. The business finally ended when he sold off the venture to a Japanese whaling company called Kyokuyo Hogei Kaisha for $8.5 million.
In 1957, he plunged into the airline business and took over the failing Greek national Airline turning it to a profitable private business under the name Olympic Airways. He secured profitable deals with big oil companies for long-term contracts at fixed prices. Due to this, every business deal turned profitable for him.
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Within a short span of time, he became a global business magnate. Other than his tobacco venture and booming shipping business, he held stocks in major oil companies in US, Middle East and Venezuela, controlled over more than ninety-five multinational businesses, had gold processing plants in Argentina and Uruguay and made huge investments in Latin America and Brazil.
He owned several apartments, buildings and castle in numerous cities of the world. He had accounts in more than 200 banks across the world and also owned islands, such as, Scorpios and Sparta..
Personal Life & Legacy
A womanizer, he was in a string of relationships with famous women around the globe. His relationship with Athina Livanos, who was half his age but daughter of shipping magnate, ended up in marriage in December 1946. The couple was blessed with two children
The marriage with Livanos did not last long and the two divorced in 1960 following his infidelity and romantic relationship with singer Maria Callas, which initiated in 1957.
He ended his relationship with Callas and befriended Jackie Kennedy, widow of President John F Kennedy. The relationship strengthened further as the two became lovers and eventually married in 1968.
In 1973, tragedy struck his household when his son from his first marriage died in a plane crash. The incident left him devastated.
Two years later, he breathed his last on March 15, 1975 at the American Hospital of Paris in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France due to respiratory failure, a complication of the myasthenia gravis that he had been suffering from during the last years of his life. He was buried on his island near his son Alexander.
This Greek Argentine shipping magnate ended his much hyped relationship with opera singer Marie Callas to marry President John F Kennedy’s widow, Jackie Kennedy.