Alexander Onassis

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Alexander Onassis
Born (1948-04-30)April 30, 1948
New York, United States
Died January 23, 1973(1973-01-23) (aged 24)
Athens, Greece
Relatives Aristotle Onassis (father)
Athina Livanos (mother)
Christina Onassis (sister)
Athina Onassis Roussel (niece)
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (stepmother)
Caroline Kennedy (stepsister)
Stavros Niarchos (stepfather,uncle)
Eugenia Livanos (aunt)
George S. Livanos (uncle)
Stavros Livanos (grandfather)

Alexander S. Onassis (Greek: Αλέξανδρος Ωνάσης; April 30, 1948 – January 23, 1973) was the first heir presumptive to the Onassis fortune. He was the only son of Aristotle Onassis and Tina Livanos. He had one sibling, Christina Onassis, the mother of Athina Onassis Roussel.

Early life[edit]

Alexander Onassis was born in Harkness Pavilion, a clinic in New York City. He had the same name as his father's uncle, who was murdered during World War I.

Apart from four hours at Le Rosey, Onassis had no formal schooling nor did he have friends of his own age. Despite not being gifted academically, he was very knowledgeable about automobiles and motors, which impressed Gianni Agnelli from Fiat according to Peter Evans Onassis biographer. Onassis also fostered vocational ambitions of becoming a pilot, but this was prevented due to his extremely poor eyesight.

His closest friends were his house employees such as Christian Cafarakis.

Onassis and his sister Christina were extremely close. Their bond exceeded the normal ties of a brother and sister. They were bonded further by the shared traumas caused by a workaholic, obsessive, and sometimes abusive father.[1][2] Furthermore, it has been said that Tina had difficult relationships with her children, especially with Christina, from whom she expected particular perfection.[1] Nonetheless, Alexander and Christina were loyal and loving to their parents but seem never to have accepted or liked their stepmother, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy.[1][3]

Despite having an intense dislike for Jacqueline, they did warm to her children, Caroline and John[citation needed]. One of John's fondest memories was riding in Alexander's Piaggio plane.[3]

Later years and death[edit]

Onassis dated Fiona (née Campbell Walter) Thyssen, a woman sixteen years his senior and of whom his father strongly disapproved.[1][2] Fiona was divorced from Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza since 1965. She was a New Zealand–born fashion model. During their relationship, she was forty years old and Onassis was twenty-four. According to British author Peter Evans, he also had an affair in the South of France with Odile Rodin, the widow of playboy Porfirio Rubirosa (1909–1965).

He died in a Piaggio P.136L-2 airplane when it crashed at Ellinikon International Airport in an incident that has fueled many conspiracy theories. He was twenty-four years old. After his body had been embalmed by Desmond Henley,[4] it was buried next to the chapel on his father's private island, the Greek Ionian island of Skorpios. Approximately two years later, his father died too, and was buried beside Onassis. Many people have noted that Onassis' death was the end for his father, in terms of his desire to go on living.[5]


The Alexander S. Onassis Foundation awards scholarships to Greek students to study abroad and funds a number of philanthropic projects. The Foundation also runs a multibillion-dollar empire consisting of a small shipping fleet, real estate and securities assets.[6] Named after Aristotle's son, Aristotle created it as a charitable foundation, based in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, in 1973. The main offices are in Athens.


  1. ^ a b c d Hutchins, Chris; Peter Thompson (September 1999). Athina: The Last Onassis (new ed.). Blake Publishers. ISBN 978-1-85782-381-3. 
  2. ^ a b Speiser, Stuart (August 1, 2005). The Deadly Sins of Aristotle Onassis Story (1st ed.). ACW Press. ISBN 978-1-932124-62-0. 
  3. ^ a b Leigh, Wendy (March 2000). Prince Charming: The John F. Kennedy, Jr. Story (1st ed.). New York: New American Library. ISBN 0-451-20080-2. 
  4. ^ "In Memoriam: Desmond C. Henley". Christopher Henley Limited. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  5. ^ Feroudi Moutsatsos, Kiki (1998). The Onassis Women. New York: Putnum. p. 368. ISBN 978-0399144431. 
  6. ^ Onassis Foundation (official website) (Greek)