Onassis

Onassis

[oh-nas-is, oh-nah-sis]
Onassis, Aristotle Socrates, 1906?-75, Greek shipowner and financier, b. Turkey. Leaving Turkey after the Turkish defeat of Greek forces at Smyrna (1922), he revived the family tobacco business in Argentina. In 1925 he received Argentinean and Greek citizenship. Onassis purchased his first ships in the early 1930s and later in the decade became the first Greek shipowner to enter the tanker business. In 1946 he married the daughter of the influential Greek shipowner Stavros Livanos, and he later became the brother-in-law of Stavros Niarchos, another Greek shipowner; together the three men formed the most powerful shipping clan in the world. Later, however, considerable rivalry developed among them. After divorcing (1961) his first wife, he gained special prominence in the United States through his marriage (1968) to Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (see Onassis, Jacqueline Bouvier), widow of President John F. Kennedy. A controversial figure in world finance, Onassis was formerly the principal stockholder of the company that controlled the Monte Carlo casino. He was also the founder (1957) of Olympic Airways of Greece.

See biography by C. Cafaris and J. Harvey (tr. 1972).

Onassis, Jacqueline Bouvier, 1929-94, b. Southampton, N.Y. Of a socially prominent family, she worked (1951-53) as a journalist and photographer before marrying (1953) John F. Kennedy. As first lady (1961-63), Jacqueline Kennedy planned and conducted the restoration of the White House and had Congress declare the White House a national museum. After the assassination of President Kennedy, she returned to private life and later married (1968) the Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, who died in 1975. From 1978 until her death she was an editor at Doubleday.

See biographies by D. Heymann (1989) and D. Spoto (2000); M. B. Gallagher, My Life with Jacqueline Kennedy (1969); M. V. Thayer, Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years (1971).

(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 made consul general after negotiating a trade agreement for the Greek government. A millionaire by age 25, he bought his first freight ships in 1932. In the 1940s and '50s his fleet grew until it was larger than the navies of many countries. He acquired business interests in Monte Carlo, and from 1957 to 1974 he owned and operated Olympic Airways, the Greek national airline. He conducted a long affair with Maria Callas, and in 1968 married Jacqueline Kennedy (see Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis).

Learn more about Onassis, Aristotle (Socrates) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(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 made consul general after negotiating a trade agreement for the Greek government. A millionaire by age 25, he bought his first freight ships in 1932. In the 1940s and '50s his fleet grew until it was larger than the navies of many countries. He acquired business interests in Monte Carlo, and from 1957 to 1974 he owned and operated Olympic Airways, the Greek national airline. He conducted a long affair with Maria Callas, and in 1968 married Jacqueline Kennedy (see Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis).

Learn more about Onassis, Aristotle (Socrates) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

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