Perhaps the most iconic Greek man of the 20th century known the world over, Aristotle Onassis took his last breath on March 15, 1975 at the American Hospital of Paris in France.
Onassis, who was born in the city of Smyrna in Asia Minor, died of respiratory failure, a complication of the myasthenia gravis from which he had been suffering during the last years of his life.
Onassis was buried on his private island of Skorpios in Greece’s Ionian Sea, alongside his son, Alexander.
Onassis’s will established a charitable foundation in memory of his son, named the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation, which continues to operate worldwide.
The foundation received 45% of Onassis’s estate, which would have been left to his son, with the 55% remainder left to his daughter, Christina.
The foundation consists of two parts: a business foundation which runs various businesses including shipping and a public benefit foundation which is the sole recipient of the business foundation. The public benefit foundation funds the worldwide promotion of Greek culture, funds the Onassis International Prizes for achievement in various fields, and the funding of scholarships for Greek university students.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis also received her share of the estate, settling for a reported $10 million ($26 million according to other sources), which was negotiated by her brother-in-law Ted Kennedy.
Christina’s share has since passed to her only child Athina.
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