Ari Onassis was a business partner but above all a very good friend of mine for many years until his death in 1975. It was great to know him and fantastic to be involved in his odyssey and contributes to build his empire. There are so many things that are said about Ari and by creating this blog I want to reflect the reality about him to make sure his memory is not stained by gossiping people that don't know anything about him. You can also view my website:

Friday, September 28, 2007

On one fo Christina's Husband

Alexander seemed a good catch for many reasons. His maternal grandfather, Alexander Koryzis, was Premier of Greece when the Nazis invaded in 1941. His father is not only a self-made millionaire in the buccaneer Onassis mold, but also a former professor of law at the Athens Graduate School of Economics and Business Science. Alexander, an avid collector of antique Rolls-Royces, is a shrewd businessman who graduated from Zurich University with an honors degree in mechanical engineering. Regarded as a forceful, ambitious pragmatist by his business associates, he developed his family's ultramodern shipbuilding facilities at Eleusis. "Christina wanted a hardboiled, tough decision maker," said one of her friends last week, "and that is what she got."
Moreover, Alexander's conservative, family-oriented life-style may seem especially appealing to the long unsettled heiress. After her mother, Tina Livanos, divorced Ari in 1960 because of his affair with Opera Singer Maria Callas, Christina quickly grew into a child of the jetset. "She was given far too much money—a bad mistake. All she had to do was spend," observes Baron Arnaud de Rosnay, who has known Christina since she was eleven. "She has one of the strongest personalities I have encountered in a woman. She wanted to be someone on her own and couldn't. She is very intelligent, very sharp, but all is spoiled because there is no drive, no continuity. She can change her mind in a second."

Beginning in 1970, a series of personal tragedies began to overshadow Christina's playgirl path. First her maternal aunt, Eugenie Niarchos, wife of Ari's longtime shipping rival, Stavros Niarchos, died from an overdose of sleeping pills. The following year Christina suffered through her own first marriage, divorce and a brief stay at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Los Angeles. Rumors of an attempted suicide began to circulate, but were vehemently denied by her family.
In 1973 Christina's only brother, Alexander Onassis, was killed in a plane crash at Athens airport. One year later, Christina's mother, who had followed her sister's example by marrying Stavros Niarchos, died mysteriously of pulmonary edema. Finally, Ari himself succumbed to bronchial pneumonia in Paris earlier this year. "I think she wanted to make a complete break with the past," says Baron de Rosnay of Christina's unexpected wedding.
"That takes courage, and I think she showed it."
At a time when Onassis enterprises are suffering from an overstock of tankers and a decline in oil shipments, Christina has acted quickly to enlist help at the helm. Even before her marriage, she had taken steps to challenge her late father's will, which left her 49% of the Onassis empire. She deposited the document for probate in Greece, though the family's financial headquarters are located elsewhere. Her goal: to gain the 50% of the estate usually awarded by Greek law to a sole surviving child.
Last week, however, the newlyweds seemed more intent on enjoying a short honeymoon before Andreadis, a belated draftee into the Greek army, was called back to his part-time duty. "I so love that child, and I am happy that she has found him," declared Jackie Onassis as the couple prepared to leave for Athens. "At last I can see happy days ahead for her."

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