Aristotle Onassis

Aristotle Onassis Photo
Aristotle Onassis also known as Ari was a Greek shipping entrepreneur and one of the richest men of the world. He was also quite the charmer when it came to women; Onassis married JFK’s widow Jacqueline Kennedy and dated several other women.

Onassis was born on 20th January 1906 in a town of Smyrna present day Izmir, Turkey. He attended prestigious schools and by the time he was 16 he had mastered four languages including his native language Greek, Spanish, Turkish and English. Onassis moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1923 after the Great Fire of Smyrna. He got his first job there at the British United River Plate Telephone Company. Although he was poor he made it up with his ingenuity. He used to eavesdrop on important business calls and used that information to make his own deals. Soon he was earning a lot of money this way. He was the important businessman in the day while in the cover of the night he worked at the phone lines.

Aristotle Onassis got his first big break in the mid-1920s when he listened in on a call about a talkie in which the central character would be smoking a cigarette. This is when the idea of starting his own cigarette brand hit him. He opted for a well-known opera singer as his model. By the time he was 25, his business had earned him millions. Later on, during the Great Depression, Onassis realized that he could make much more money as a shipping magnate than a manufacturer. And just when others were pulling back from this business he bought 6 ships for less than half the price. During the World War II he leased his ships to the allies resulting in enormous growth in his wealth as well as his social standing. In 1957, Onassis decided to enter the airline business. He acquired the failing Greek National Airline and changed it into a private business called Olympic Airways of Greece. While all this was happening he was also busy dating various famous gals such as Athina Livanos who was half his age and the daughter of the richest shipping mogul. They got married and had two children. The couple got divorced when Ari began seeing Maria Callas, a very famous opera singer. He flaunted the affair even though he was married at the time. He befriended Jackie Kennedy before JFKs assassination and after his murder, Jackie remained close to Onassis. They got married in 1968 however this marriage got a severe reaction from the public.

Onassis also made a lot of money whaling off the Peruvian coast between 1950 and 1956. He got a profit of $4.5 million from his first expedition. This venture ended after Onassis sold it to a Japanese whaling company called Kyokuyo Hogei Kaisha for $8.5 million. Aristotle Onassis died on 15th March 1975 in France. After his death his wealth was inherited according to his will by his daughter Christina, Alexander S. Onassis Foundation in the memory of his son who died in a plane crash and Jackie Kennedy.