Gérard Louis-Dreyfus

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Gérard Louis-Dreyfus
Born Gérard C. Louis-Dreyfus
(1932-06-21)June 21, 1932
Paris, France
Died September 16, 2016(2016-09-16) (aged 84)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Nationality French / American
Other names William Louis-Dreyfus
Education Duke University
Occupation Businessman
Net worth Increase US $ 3.4 billion (est.) (October 2006)
Title Ex-Chairman of Louis Dreyfus Energy Services
Spouse(s) Judith LeFever Bowles
(m. 1959; div. 1962)

Phyllis B. Louis-Dreyfus
(m. 1965–2016)
Children 3, including Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Parent(s) Pierre Louis-Dreyfus
Dolores Porges (née Neubauer) (1905-1987)
Relatives Léopold Louis-Dreyfus
(paternal great-grandfather)

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

Life and career[edit]

Louis-Dreyfus was born in Paris in 1932.[3] His great-grandfather Léopold Louis-Dreyfus founded the Louis Dreyfus Group in 1851. His mother, Dolores Porges (née Neubauer), was American-born,[3] the daughter of a Brazilian father and a Mexican mother.[4] His father, Pierre Louis-Dreyfus, (1908-2011),[5] was a Frenchman who headed the Louis Dreyfus group. His father, who was Jewish, fought in the French Resistance during World War II.[6] 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 was also a poet who has had poems published in publications such as The Hudson Review. Louis-Dreyfus died on September 16, 2016 at the age of 84.[7] His daughter Julia dedicated her 2016 Emmy win to her late father.[8]


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.[9][10]


Immediate family[edit]

First Wife: Judith (née LeFever) Bowles. Divorced, 1962.

Child With Judith Bowles:

Second Wife: Phyllis B. Louis-Dreyfus.

Children With Phyllis Louis-Dreyfus:

  • social worker Phoebe Émilie Dominique Louis-Dreyfus Eavis (born May 1968). In 1996, she married English financial journalist Peter Eavis at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Bedford, New York.[11][12]
  • social worker Emma R. Louis-Dreyfus (born 1974).


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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gérard Louis-Dreyfus & family". Forbes.com. October 2006. Retrieved 2007-10-28. 
  2. ^ "Gerard Louis Dreyfus Executive Biography". Louis Dreyfus Group. Retrieved 2007-10-28. 
  3. ^ 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
  4. ^ Rootsweb: "Dowling Family Genealogy" retrieved August 16, 2013
  5. ^ "Louis Dreyfus Dead at 102". Retrieved 2011-06-11. 
  6. ^ TVtropolis June 1, 2006 (2006-06-01). "Julia Louis-Dreyfus - Seinfeld". Canada.com. Retrieved 2010-09-01. 
  7. ^ Redmond, Kimberly (September 18, 2016). "William Louis-Dreyfus, actress' dad, dies at age 84". The Journal News. Retrieved September 18, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Julia Louis-Dreyfus Reveals Billionaire Father's Death During Tearful Emmys Acceptance Speech". ExtraTV. September 18, 2016. Retrieved September 26, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Billionaire William Louis-Dreyfus Calls On Fellow Rich To Battle Voter Suppression". Huffington Post. October 2, 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "BA call to arms to the wealthy to protect the right to vote". Brennan Center For Justice. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  11. ^ New York Times: Marriages: "Phoebe Louis-Dreyfus, Peter Eavis" October 20, 1996
  12. ^ Talking Biz News: "Ex-WSJer Eavis to join NYT" by Chris Roush November 28, 2011