Onassis, Aristotle Socrates

Onassis, Aristotle Socrates

▪ Greek businessman
born January 7 [January 20, New Style], 1906, Smyrna [now İzmir], Turkey
died March 15, 1975, Neuilly-sur-Seine, near Paris, France
 Greek shipping magnate who developed a fleet of supertankers and freighters larger than the navies of many countries.

      Although originally wealthy tobacco dealers, Onassis's family lost almost everything when Smyrna (modern İzmir), which had become a Greek city after World War I, was recaptured by the Turks in 1922. Escaping to Greece, the family sent Onassis to South America in search of a better fortune. In Buenos Aires Onassis became a night-shift switchboard operator and began a tobacco-importing business during his daytime hours. He profited from the growing popularity of imported Turkish tobacco in Argentina, and in two years earned $100,000 from commissions on tobacco sales. The Greek government tapped Onassis to negotiate a trade agreement with Argentina in 1928 and then made him consul general. His business activities expanded to include cigarette manufacturing and commodities trading. By age 25, he had made his first $1,000,000.

      In 1932, during the depths of the Great Depression, Onassis bought his first six freight ships for a fraction of their actual value. He had his first oil tanker built in 1938 and acquired two more by World War II. During the war he leased his tankers and other vessels to the Allies. After the war Onassis bought 23 surplus Liberty ships from the United States, and he embarked on a program to build progressively larger oil tankers in order to transport economically the world's supply of petroleum. He initiated the construction of supertankers, in 1954 alone commissioning 17 such vessels. During the Arab-Israeli wars in 1956 and 1967, his tankers reaped immense profits transporting oil from the Middle East via the Cape of Good Hope route after the Suez Canal had been closed. Onassis engaged in a celebrated shipbuilding rivalry with another Greek shipping magnate, Stavros Niarchos (Niarchos, Stavros Spyros).

      In 1953 Onassis purchased a controlling interest in the Société des Bains de Mer, which owned the casino, hotels, and other real estate in the resort of Monte Carlo. From 1957 to 1974 he also owned and operated Olympic Airways (Olympic Airlines), the Greek national airlines, by concession from the Greek government.

      Onassis's first marriage, in 1946, was to Athina Livanos, a daughter of the shipping magnate Stavros Livanos; it ended in divorce in 1960. He was long intimately associated with the opera diva Maria Callas (Callas, Maria). He then married Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (Onassis, Jacqueline Kennedy), the widow of U.S. President John F. Kennedy (Kennedy, John F.), in 1968. His lavish yacht Christina, named for his daughter, served for many years as his permanent residence.

      Both of Onassis's children died at early ages, leaving his granddaughter as the sole heir of his multibillion-dollar estate.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Onassis, Aristotle (Socrates) — born Jan. 20, 1906, Smyrna, Tur. died March 15, 1975, Neuilly sur Seine, near Paris, France Greek shipping magnate and international businessman. The son of a tobacco dealer, he started a tobacco importing business in Buenos Aires, Arg. He was… …   Universalium

  • Onassis, Jacqueline Kennedy — orig. Jacqueline Bouvier born July 28, 1929, Southampton, N.Y., U.S. died May 19, 1994, New York, N.Y. U.S. first lady, socialite, and editor. After graduating from George Washington University in 1951 she took a job as a reporter photographer at …   Universalium

  • Aristotle Onassis — Aristotle Socrates Onassis Born 15 January 1906(1906 01 15) Smyrna, Ottoman Empire Died 15 March 1975(1975 03 15) (aged 69) …   Wikipedia

  • Onassis — /oh nas is, oh nah sis/, n. 1. Aristotle Socrates, 1906 75, Greek businessman, born in Turkey. 2. Jacqueline (Lee Bouvier Kennedy) /booh vee ay /, ( Jackie ), 1929 94, wife of John F. Kennedy (1953 63) and Aristotle Onassis (1968 75). * * * …   Universalium

  • Onassis — O•nas•sis [[t]oʊˈnæs ɪs, oʊˈnɑ sɪs[/t]] n. 1) big Aristotle Socrates, 1906–75, Greek businessman, born in Turkey 2) big Jacqueline (Lee Bouvier Kennedy)(“Jackie”), 1929–94, wife of John F. Kennedy (1953–63) and Aristotle Onassis (1968–75) …   From formal English to slang

  • Onassis — /oʊˈnæsəs/ (say oh nasuhs) noun 1. Aristotle Socrates, 1906–75, Greek shipping magnate, born in Turkey. 2. Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy (Jackie), 1929–94, wife of Aristotle Onassis and previously of US president John Kennedy …   Australian English dictionary

  • Christina Onassis — Born December 11, 1950(1950 12 11) New York City, New York, U.S. Died November 19, 1988(1988 11 19) (aged 37) Tortuguitas, Buenos Aires, Argentina …   Wikipedia

  • Aristóteles Onassis — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Estatua de A.Onassis en Nydri, Lefkada. Aristóteles Sócrates Onassis (Αριστοτέλης Σωκράτης Ωνάσης) (*15 de enero de 1906 † 15 de marzo de 1975) fue el magnate griego más famoso de …   Wikipedia Español

  • Aristoteles Onassis — (um 1970) Aristoteles „Ari“ Sokrates Homer Onassis (griechisch Ἀριστοτέλης Ὠνάσης, * 15. Januar 1906 in Smyrna, Osmanisches Reich (heute İzmir, Türkei); † 15. März 1975 in Neuilly sur Seine bei Paris) war ein griechischer …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Kennedy, John F. — ▪ president of United States Introduction in full  John Fitzgerald Kennedy , byname  JFK  born May 29, 1917, Brookline, Massachusetts, U.S. died November 22, 1963, Dallas, Texas  35th president of the United States (1961–63), who faced a number… …   Universalium

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