Lawrence Kadoorie, Baron Kadoorie

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The Lord Kadoorie
Born2 June 1899
Died25 August 1993(1993-08-25) (aged 94)
Hong Kong
SpouseMuriel Gubbay
ChildrenMichael Kadoorie
Rita Kadoorie
Parent(s)Laura Mocatta Kadoorie
Sir Elly Kadoorie
FamilyHorace Kadoorie (brother)
Ellis Kadoorie (uncle)

Lawrence Kadoorie, Baron Kadoorie, CBE (2 June 1899 – 25 August 1993) was a Hong Kong industrialist, hotelier, photographer[1] and philanthropist. He was a member of the Kadoorie family.


Lawrence Kadoorie was born to the Kadoorie family, a Baghdadi-Jewish family from Bombay, India. He was the older child of Laura (née Mocatta) and Sir Elly Kadoorie.[2] His brother, Horace Kadoorie (1902–1995), would become his partner in the family business.[2]

In 1981, Lawrence Kadoorie became the first Hong Kong born person to be elevated to the peerage as a life peer with the title and style of Baron, and to have become a member of the House of Lords.[3]

His uncle was Sir Ellis Kadoorie. His family were originally Mizrahi Jews from Baghdad who later migrated to Bombay (Mumbai), India in the mid-eighteenth century. He was educated at Clifton College.[4] Kadoorie and his brother Sir Horace Kadoorie worked for Victor Sassoon during the 1920s and 1930s, and managed his famous Shanghai hotel. They also worked for their father Sir Elly Kadoorie.

Graves of Lawrence Kadoorie and his wife, Muriel, in the Jewish Cemetery in Hong Kong

Awards and philanthropy[edit]

Kadoorie was made a CBE in 1970,[5] knighted in 1974[6] and created Baron Kadoorie, of Kowloon in Hong Kong and of the City of Westminster on 22 September 1981[7] for his philanthropic work throughout the UK and Hong Kong.[8] Kadoorie and his brother, Horace, both received the Magsaysay Award for public service in 1962. They were also appointed Chevaliers of the Légion d'honneur by the French government.[8] He also gave money to the Kahal Kadosh Mekor Haim (Holy Community Fountain of Life) to finish the construction of the Kadoorie Synagogue for the Anusim/Marranos in Oporto, Portugal.[citation needed]

Coat of arms of Lawrence Kadoorie, Baron Kadoorie
A candlestick of seven branches Or between two cinquefoils Gules.
Per fess Gules and Vert in chief a flower of Bauhinia Blakeana and the Chinese character denoting double happines Or and in base a demi Bengal tiger (felis tigris) couped guardant Proper gorged with a collar gemel Sable between the paws a cinquefoil Gules.
On either side a Chinese unicorn Proper rampant on the outer slope of a steep mount with a shere inner face Vert growing therefrom a Bauhinia Blakeana flower Gold and between the mounts a waterway barry wavy of four Argent and Azure.
Adhere And Prosper [9]


Kadoorie was an enthusiastic amateur photographer, his photographs documented many aspects of the city and rural life of average Hongkongers in the 1950s. He took a slice of life approach on photography, regularly carried a camera with him as he went about daily life.[10] His photographs covered streetscape and landscape, pedestrian, ferry commuters, labour at work, farmers with their live stock, hawkers and many other aspects of the old Hong Kong.[11] His photograph collection was preserved by the Hong Kong Heritage Project,[12] and was featured in photography exhibition "Eye of Hong Kong" in 2017.[13]

Personal life[edit]

In 1938, Kadoorie married Muriel Gubbay, the daughter of Hebrew scholar David Sassoon Gubbay.[14] They had two children: a son, Michael Kadoorie (heir to the family business) and a daughter Rita (who married the Scottish accountant Ronald McAulay).[15]

He died on 25 August 1993 and is buried in the Jewish Cemetery in Happy Valley, Hong Kong.[16] His widow, Muriel, died in Hong Kong on 5 December 2011.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "LORD KADOORIE'S PHOTOGRAPHY COLLECTION". The Hong Kong Heritage Project. Retrieved 30 September 2020. "Lord Lawrence Kadoorie was an avid photographer. This gallery presents a precious collection of photos he took in different locations in Hong Kong in the 1950s."
  2. ^ a b Haaretz: "This Day in Jewish History: A WWII Survivor Who Built Hong Kong Dies – Lawrence Kadoorie rose from a Japanese prison camp to restore his family's fortunes and help forge Hong Kong's future with China" by David B. Green 25 August 2014
  3. ^ AP (26 August 1993). "Lawrence Kadoorie, 94, Is Dead; A Leader in Hong Kong'g Growth". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Clifton College Register" Muirhead, J.A.O. p326: Bristol; J.W Arrowsmith for Old Cliftonian Society; April, 1948
  5. ^ "No. 44999". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 January 1970. p. 19.
  6. ^ "No. 46366". The London Gazette. 8 October 1974. p. 8535.
  7. ^ "No. 48746". The London Gazette. 25 September 1981. p. 12174.
  8. ^ a b "HKU Honorary Graduates – Graduate Detail". Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 3 February 2011.
  9. ^ Debrett's Peerage. 1985.
  10. ^ "HKFP Lens: Photographs of Hong Kong in the 1950s taken by industrialist Lord Lawrence Kadoorie". Hong Kong Free Press. 30 September 2017. Retrieved 30 September 2020."...he was also a keen amateur photographer, and regularly carried a camera with him as he went about daily life."
  11. ^ "A snapshot of old Hong Kong". BBC News. Retrieved 9 June 2021.
  12. ^ "LORD KADOORIE'S PHOTOGRAPHY COLLECTION". The Hong Kong Heritage Project. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  13. ^ The Hong Kong Heritage Project Exhibition - Eye on Hong Kong
  14. ^ a b "Celebration of Life Muriel, The Lady Kadoorie 1915 – 2011", Retrieved 30 April 2013.
  15. ^ "Obituary: Lord Kadoorie", 26 August 1993.
  16. ^ "Lawrence Kadoorie, 94, Is Dead; A Leader in Hong Kong's Growth – New York Times". The New York Times. 26 August 1993. Retrieved 3 February 2011.