11 December 1950|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Died||19 November 1988
Tortuguitas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Cause of death
|Heart attack caused by acute pulmonary edema|
|Island of Skorpios Cemetery|
|Alma mater||Queen's College, London|
|Occupation||Shipping magnate, socialite, heiress|
Joseph Bolker (m. 1971; div. 1972)
|Children||Athina Onassis Roussel|
|Relatives||Alexander Onassis (brother) Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (stepmother)
Stavros Niarchos (stepfather)
Christina Onassis (Greek: Χριστίνα Ωνάση; 11 December 1950 – 19 November 1988) was an American born Greek/Argentine businesswoman, socialite and heiress to the Onassis fortune. She was the only daughter of Aristotle Onassis and Athina Livanos.
Early life and family
Christina Onassis was born in New York City at LeRoy Sanitarium, the only daughter of billionaire Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis and his first wife Athina Livanos. Her maternal grandfather was Stavros G. Livanos, the founder of the Livanos shipping empire. Onassis had an older brother, Alexander. Onassis and her brother were raised and educated in France, Greece and England. She attended the Headington School in Oxford and Queen's College, London from 1968 to 1969.
Onassis' parents divorced in 1960 due to his affair with opera singer Maria Callas. Her father married former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, the widow of President John F. Kennedy, in 1968. Onassis and her brother Alexander never warmed to Kennedy and reportedly distrusted her. Onassis' mother Athina married Stavros Niarchos in 1971.
Within a 29 month period, Onassis lost her entire immediate family. Her brother Alexander died in a plane crash in Athens in 1973. His death devastated the family. Her mother died of suspected drug overdose in 1974 leaving Onassis her $77 million estate. Her father's health began to deteriorate after Alexander's death, and he died in 1975. After Aristotle's death, she renounced her U.S. citizenship and donated the American portion of her holdings in her father's company to the American Hospital of Paris (Onassis held dual citizenship in Greece and Argentina throughout her life). 
Upon her brother's death, Aristotle Onassis began grooming his daughter to take over the family business. She was sent to New York City to work in his father's office. After Aristotle Onassis' death, Onassis inherited 55% of her father's fortune which was then estimated to be worth $500 million. The remaining 45% funded a foundation established in Alexander's memory (Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis received $26 million of the estate). Onassis was the focus of her father's attention until his death; he considered her his successor and trained her in the business operations of the Onassis business empire. She became very involved in the business operations of the Onassis shipping empire and successfully ran the business after her father's death.
Onassis received considerable media attention for her lavish lifestyle, spending habits, and turbulent personal life. Despite her wealth, Onassis was often unhappy over her inability to find lasting love and her frequent weight battles. She went on frequent crash diets and would lose large amounts of weight but gained it back when she became depressed. Onassis was diagnosed with clinical depression at the age of 30 and was prescribed barbiturates, amphetamines, and sleeping pills. Onassis became addicted and was reportedly hospitalized for overdosing on sleeping pills in the 1970s.
Onassis was married four times; each marriage ended in divorce. She married her first husband, real estate developer Joseph Bolker, at age 20 in 1971. Bolker was a divorced father of four children who was 27 years Onassis' senior. Onassis' father reportedly disapproved of Bolker and pressured Onassis to divorce him. The marriage ended after nine months.
Her second husband was to Greek shipping and banking heir Alexander Andreadis, whom she married shortly after her father's death in 1975. They divorced after 14 months. Onassis' third husband was Russian shipping agent Sergei Kauzov whom she married in 1978. They divorced the following year. Her fourth and final marriage was to French businessman Thierry Roussel in 1984. Onassis and Roussel had a daughter, Athina (named after Onasis' mother), in 1985. They divorced after Onassis discovered that Roussel had a child with his long-time mistress, Swedish model Marianne "Gaby" Landhage, during their marriage.
On 19 November 1988, Onassis' body was found by her maid in the bathtub of a mansion in Buenos Aires where she had been staying. Rumors of suicide arose but an autopsy later determined that Onassis suffered a fatal heart attack caused by acute pulmonary edema. A private, Greek Orthodox funeral was held for Onassis on 20 November at a chapel located on the Onassis owned island of Skorpios after which she was buried in the Onassis family plot in the Island of Skorpios Cemetery along with her father and brother.
Onasis willed her fortune, worth an estimated $250 million at the time of her death, to her only daughter Athina. Athina, who was raised by her father Thierry Roussel and his wife Marianne "Gaby" Landhage in Switzerland, gained control of the estate on her 18th birthday.
In popular culture
- Christina O, the Onassis family yacht, named after Christina by her father
- Green, Michelle (5 December 1988). "Fate's Captive: Dead at 37, Christina Onassis Leaves An Empire and Burdens She Could Never Escape to Her Daughter, Athina". People Magazine 30 (23). Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- Wright, William (2000). All the Pain Money Can Buy: The Life of Christina Onassis. Simon and Schuster. p. 62. ISBN 0-743-21163-4.
- Newsweek (Newsweek, Incorporated) 86: 349. 1975.
- Saxon, Wolfgang (20 November 1988). "Christina Onassis, Shipping Magnate, Dies at 37". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- Bender, Marlyn (9 June1975). "Christina gives up U.S. citizenship". The Miami News. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- Gage, Nicholas (May 2005). "The Last Onassis". vanityfair.com. p. 2.
- "Christina Onassis Dies; Investigation Ordered". latimes.com. November 20, 1988.
- Gage, Nicholas (May 2005). "The Last Onassis". vanityfair.com. p. 1.
- Smith, James F. (21 November 1988). "'The Poor Little Rich Girl': Autopsy Held as Friends Mourn Christina Onassis". latimes.
- "Onassis Heiress Turns 18, Inherits Billions". abcnews.go.com. 29 January 2003.