Gérard Louis-Dreyfus

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Gérard Louis-Dreyfus
Gérard C. Louis-Dreyfus

(1932-06-21)June 21, 1932
DiedSeptember 16, 2016(2016-09-16) (aged 84)
NationalityFrench / American
Other namesWilliam Louis-Dreyfus
EducationDuke University (BA, LLB)
Net worthIncrease US $ 3.4 billion (est.) (October 2006)
TitleEx-Chairman of Louis Dreyfus Energy Services
Judith LeFever Bowles
(m. 1959; div. 1962)

Phyllis Blankenship
(m. 1965)
Children4, including Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Parent(s)Pierre Louis-Dreyfus
Dolores Porges (née Neubauer)
RelativesLéopold Louis-Dreyfus
(paternal great-grandfather)
Charles Louis-Dreyfus
(paternal grandfather)

Gérard C. Louis-Dreyfus (June 21, 1932 – September 16, 2016), also known as William,[1] was a French-American businessman. His net worth was estimated at $3.4 billion by Forbes in 2006.[2] He was the chairman of Louis Dreyfus Energy Services and the great grandson of Léopold Louis-Dreyfus, founder of Louis Dreyfus Group.[3] He was the father of actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Life and career[edit]

Louis-Dreyfus was born in Paris in 1932.[4] His great-grandfather Léopold Louis-Dreyfus founded the Louis Dreyfus Group in 1851. His mother, Dolores Porges (née Neubauer; 1905–1987), was American-born,[4] the daughter of a Brazilian father and a Mexican mother.[5] His father, Pierre Louis-Dreyfus, (1908–2011),[6] was a Frenchman who headed the Louis Dreyfus group. His father, who was Jewish, fought in the French Resistance during World War II;[7] his mother was Catholic.[8] He has one sister, Dominique Cornwell.[9] In 1940, Louis-Dreyfus moved to the United States with his mother after her divorce from Pierre. By 1945, he had adopted the name William as a symbol of his integration into American society.

After graduating from Duke University and Duke University School of Law, Louis-Dreyfus worked at the law firm of Dewey Ballantine, New York, before joining Louis Dreyfus in 1965.

Louis-Dreyfus was chairman of the Poetry Society of America from 1998 to 2008. He had poems published in publications such as The Hudson Review. Louis-Dreyfus died at his home in Mount Kisco, New York on September 16, 2016 at the age of 84.[10][11] His daughter Julia dedicated her 2016 Emmy win to her late father.[12][13]


In October 2012, Dreyfus published a full page ad in The New York Times titled "A Call To Arms To The Wealthy To Protect The Right To Vote" encouraging wealthy people in the United States to fight voter suppression. Dreyfus himself donated $1 million.[14][15]

Personal life[edit]

Louis-Dreyfus was married twice.[9] In 1955, he married Judith LeFever; they had one daughter, actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus (born January 1961) before divorcing in 1962.[9] In 1965, he married Phyllis Blankenship; they had two daughters, both social workers: Phoebe Émilie Dominique Louis-Dreyfus Eavis (born May 1968) and Emma R. Louis-Dreyfus (born on June 16, 1974; died on August 13, 2018).[9][16] In 1996, Phoebe married English financial journalist Peter Eavis at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Bedford, New York.[17][18] He also had a son, Raphael Penteado.[9]

One cousin is Jean Louis-Dreyfus, grandson of the family business founder, Léopold Louis-Dreyfus. Another cousin is Robert Louis-Dreyfus, the former chief executive officer of Adidas and ex-Chairman of French football club Olympique de Marseille.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "obituary".
  2. ^ "Gérard Louis-Dreyfus & family". Forbes.com. October 2006. Retrieved 2007-10-28.
  3. ^ "Gerard Louis Dreyfus Executive Biography". Louis Dreyfus Group. Archived from the original on 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2007-10-28.
  4. ^ a b Legal Eagle: PORGES v. LOUIS-DREYFUS, 280 A.D. 277 (1952) Dolores N. Porges, Appellant-Respondent, v. Guy P. Louis-Dreyfus, Respondent-Appellant, Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, First Department. June 3, 1952
  5. ^ Rootsweb: "Dowling Family Genealogy" retrieved August 16, 2013
  6. ^ "Louis Dreyfus Dead at 102". Retrieved 2011-06-11.
  7. ^ TVtropolis June 1, 2006 (2006-06-01). "Julia Louis-Dreyfus - Seinfeld". Canada.com. Archived from the original on March 1, 2009. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  8. ^ "Julia Louis-Dreyfus - WTF Podcast with Marc Maron #700 pt. 1". Retrieved 2020-06-30.
  9. ^ a b c d e New York Times: "GERARD LOUIS-DREYFUS (1932 - 2016)" September 25, 2016
  10. ^ Gerard Louis-Dreyfus obituary Legacy.com
  11. ^ Redmond, Kimberly (September 18, 2016). "William Louis-Dreyfus, actress' dad, dies at age 84". The Journal News. Retrieved September 18, 2016.
  12. ^ "Julia Louis-Dreyfus Reveals Billionaire Father's Death During Tearful Emmys Acceptance Speech". ExtraTV. September 18, 2016. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  13. ^ "WATCH: Julia Louis-Dreyfus dedicates her #Emmys win to her father who passed away this past Friday". ABC News. September 18, 2016. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  14. ^ "Billionaire William Louis-Dreyfus Calls On Fellow Rich To Battle Voter Suppression". Huffington Post. October 2, 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  15. ^ "BA call to arms to the wealthy to protect the right to vote". Brennan Center For Justice. Archived from the original on 24 December 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  16. ^ "Emma Louis-Dreyfus 1974-2018". San Francisco Chronicle. August 24, 2018.
  17. ^ New York Times: Marriages: "Phoebe Louis-Dreyfus, Peter Eavis" October 20, 1996
  18. ^ Talking Biz News: "Ex-WSJer Eavis to join NYT" by Chris Roush November 28, 2011