As a prominent international family, the Onassis family tree begins in a region of modern Turkey formerly known as Smyrna. Aristotle Socrates Onassis was born there in 1906. His father was a regionally successful businessman, but Ari, as he was called, launched the family into worldwide acclaim.
Following a Turkish invasion of the previously Greek Smyrna, Ari Onassis was forced to leave his hometown in 1922. Relocating to Argentina, Onassis quickly built a financial empire that focused on nautical freight, eventually building the world's largest shipping group. He expanded his holdings by purchasing the Greek National Airline in 1957. He achieved global notoriety in 1968 when he married Jacqueline Kennedy, the widow of American President John F. Kennedy.