Obolensky circa 1943
|Born||Sergei Platonovich Obolensky
November 3, 1890
Saint Petersburg, Russia
|Died||September 29, 1978
Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan
|Spouse(s)||Catherine Alexandrovna Romanov Yurievsky (1878-1959)
Ava Alice Muriel Astor (m. 1924)
Marilyn Wall (1926-2007)
|Children||Ivan Sergeyevich Obolensky (b. 1925)
Sylvia Obolensky Guirey (1931-1997)
|Parent(s)||Platon Sergeyevich Obolensky
Maria Konstantinovna Naryshkina
Prince Sergei Platonovich Obolensky Neledinsky-Meletzky (Tsarskoye Selo, Russia, November 3, 1890 - Grosse Pointe, Wayne County, Michigan, USA, September 29, 1978) — known as Serge Obolensky — was a Russian-American aristocrat, U.S. Army paratrooper, socialite and publicist. He served as vice chairman of the board of directors of the Hilton Hotels Corporation.
Obolensky was the son of Prince Platon Sergeyevich Obolensky-Neledinsky-Meletzky (1850-1913) and Maria Konstantinovna Naryshkina (1861-1929). He had a younger brother, Vladimir (1896-1968), who died unmarried and childless.
He was an enthusiastic polo player and played for his University Team 1914 in Oxford. He married firstly Alexander II of Russia's daughter, Catherine Alexandrovna Yurievskaya (1878-1959) at Yalta on October 6, 1916. He fled his native country after battling Bolsheviks as a guerrilla fighter. He divorced Catherine in 1924 without any issue and then married Ava Alice Muriel Astor in London, Middlesex, on July 24, 1924, divorcing in 1932. Ava was the daughter of John Jacob Astor IV and Ava Lowle Willing. Settling in the U.S., he worked with his brother-in-law, the real estate entrepreneur Vincent Astor.
Obolensky was a soldier in two World Wars and in the Russian Civil War. He was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. paratroopers and a member of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), forerunner of the CIA, and made his first five jumps in 1943 at the age of 53.
In 1949, he started his own public relations firm in New York City, handling accounts like Piper-Heidsieck champagne. "Serge", a friend once remarked, "could be successful selling umbrellas in the middle of the Sahara". In 1958, Obolensky was made Vice Chairman of the Board of Hilton Hotels Corporation. He maintained a substantial art collection.
Obolensky died in 1978, and is buried in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Southfield, Michigan.
- Obolensky had two children with Ava:
- Ivan Sergeyevich Obolensky (born 1925), financial analyst and corporate officer. He has four children and two granddaughters.
- Sylvia Sergeievna Knyaginya Obolensky (1931-1997), married firstly in New York City on November 1, 1950, to Jean-Louis Ganshof van der Meersch (1924-1982) (they divorced in 1957 without issue) and married secondly at East Hampton, New York on August 11, 1957 (and divorced in 1963) Prince Azamat Kadir Giray (1924-2001), son of Kadir Giray, Prince of Crimea (1892-1953) and wife Vaguide Sheret-Luk, and had issue. (The Prince was a direct descendant in male line of Genghis Khan and Börte through Jochi and the Khans of Crimea.)
- The "Serge Obolensky Room", at the back of the 1st floor at the Soldiers', Sailors', Marines', Coast Guard and Airmen's Club in Manhattan, memorializes his services as a soldier. Portraits and memorabilia festoon the walls.
- Obolensky, Serge, One Man in His Time: The Memoirs of Serge Obolensky (New York. McDowell, Obolensky, Inc. 1958). 433 pp. with index.
- "Died". Time (magazine). October 16, 1978. Retrieved 2008-08-11.
Serge Obolensky, 87, Russian prince who became a publicist and international socialite; in Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich. Scion of a wealthy White Russian family and husband of Czar Alexander II's daughter, the Oxford-educated Obolensky fled his native country after battling Bolsheviks as a guerrilla fighter. The tall, mustachioed aristocrat subsequently divorced Princess Catherine, married the daughter of American Financier John Jacob Astor, settled in the U.S. and worked with his brother-in-law, the real estate entrepreneur Vincent Astor. During World War II, Obolensky at 53 became the U.S. Army's oldest paratrooper and earned the rank of colonel. He started his own public relations firm in New York in 1949, handling accounts like Piper-Heidsieck champagne. "Serge," a friend once remarked, "could be successful selling umbrellas in the middle of the Sahara."
- Moscow, June 12, 1850 - Saint Petersburg, June 27, 1913
- Moscow, December 22, 1861 - Paris, February 2, 1929; they were married at Saint Petersburg, January 31, 1888; divorced 1897
- Saint Petersburg, March 14, 1896 - New York, New York County, New York, October 12, 1968
- "Polo Monthly" (PDF). November 1914: 140. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
- "Princess Yourievsky, Who as Princess Dolgorouki Wed Alexander II". New York Times. March 11, 1913. Retrieved 2008-08-11.
As the representative of Princess Catherine Yourievsky of Paris, who as Princess Dolgorouki contracted a morganatic marriage with Czar Alexander II. of.....
- "Historical Import Goes to Auction at DuMouchelle Art Galleries". Reuters. 11 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-11.
DuMouchelle Art Galleries, Inc., one of the leading United States art galleries, announces the auction of an art collection, culturally and socially significant to Russian and United States history. The entire collection is that of Prince Serge Obolensky, former husband to Russian Czar Alexander II's daughter, Princess Catherine Yourievsky, and later to U.S. real-estate tycoon Colonel John Jacob Astor IV's daughter, Ava Astor. Obolensky was a prominent figure in the Astor family and later Hilton International's New York hotel business.
- She was born on August 13, 1929 in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan and died on 5 October 2007, in Arlington County, Virginia
- May 15, 1925
- Vöcklabruck, Austria, May 18, 1931 - London, Middlesex, June 27, 1997
- Saint-Gilles, Belgium, July 14, 1924 - Le Temple, Lacanau, France August 22, 1982
- New York, New York County, New York, August 14, 1924 - The Bahamas, August 8, 2001
- 1892 - June 2, 1953