Aristotle Socrates Onassis (1906-1975) was the most famous Greek billionaire of the 20th century and the richest man in the world in his day. He made his fortune in the shipping industry, eventually owning hundreds of ships, some of which carried oil from the Middle East to other countries around the world. He also owned the most luxurious yacht in the world: the “Cristina”.

Interior of the yacht “Cristina”

Apart from owning half of the property in the Principality of Monaco (including its famous casino), Onassis had properties all over the world, an apartment at the Pierre Hotel in New York, a penthouse in Paris, a house in London, a accommodation in Buenos Aires, a farm in Uruguay, a villa in Athens, but his favorite was the mansion he had on Skorpios Island, also owned by him. Skorpios is a small island located in the waters of the Ionian Sea, near the western coast of Greece. Onassis had bought it to live there, but he not only bought Skorpios, but also another nearby island, Sparti, with the sole purpose of ensuring his privacy, preventing onlookers and journalists, located on the Sparti island, from seeing and photographing him, armed. of powerful telescopes and long-range cameras.

Skorpios Island

But what distinguished Onassis from other billionaires was that he liked to surround himself with celebrities (see the article “These Millionaires!” in this very blog). For this reason Onassis was known throughout the world and his popularity skyrocketed when he married Jackie Kennedy, the widow of United States President John F. Kennedy.

Jackie and Onassis on their wedding day

In July 1970, Onassis was on his island of Skorpios, when he received an urgent phone call: Olympic Airways Flight 255, the airline he owned, had been hijacked by 6 Arab terrorists on route from Beirut to Athens. The Boeing 727, with 47 passengers on board and 6 crew members, had been forced to land at the Athens airport. The kidnappers demanded the immediate release of 7 Arab terrorists, prisoners in a Greek jail. Immediately Onassis flew to Athens, and together with the interior minister Stylianos Pattakos, he began to negotiate with the kidnappers.

Onassis getting off one of his airline’s planes

Onassis offered himself as a hostage, in exchange for the passengers and crew, but his offer was refused. The air pirates replied: “Who is Onassis? We have never heard of him.” They added that he was only one. After 8 tense hours of negotiation with the Greek government, the hijackers accepted the commitment that the terrorists would be released within that month.

Onassis statue on his island of Skorpios

Since then Jackie pestered him saying: “Who is Onassis? I’ve never heard of him.”

Jackie Onassis, making fun of her husband

NOTE: The photo seen in the presentation corresponds to the yacht “Cristina”

REFERENCES: Jackie & Ari, by Lester David & Jhan Robbins and

The yacht “Cristina”, owned by Onassis
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