Aristotle Onassis: Wealth, Love, and Cuban Cigars
Smoking Cuban Cigars is a ritual strongly associated with the true gentleman. In particular, men of exceptional elegance, manners, and sophistication were always attracted to the would of habanos. Whether it’s rarity, the sense of exquisite craftsmanship, or simply the allure of the smoking ritual, puffing habanos is undeniably a favoured habit amongst strong and powerful men. An icon of the shipping business industry and worldwidely known entrepreneur, Aristotle Onassis was a man of refined taste, popular for his complex yet adventurous personal life who, also, had a weak spot for Cuban smokes. With that been said, in today’s story we explore Aristotle Onassis’ life, career, and relationship with Cuban cigars, especially Montecristo and Romeo y Julieta Cigars, looking at every aspect of the life of the famous businessman.
EARLY LIFE – Son of Socrates Onassis and Penelope Deloglou, Aristotle was born in Karatas, a suburb of the port of Smyrna, in 1906. Although Socrates derived from a relatively poor background, his hard work made him a successful shipping entrepreneur, granting Aristotle and his siblings the privilege of attending prestigious schools. By the age of sixteen Aristotle was fluent in four different languages; Greek (native language), Turkish, Spanish, and English.
It did not take long for young Aristotle to find his own way in the business world. A year later, at the age of seventeen, Aristotle moved to Buenos Aires, Argentine, where he got his first job as a telephone operator while, simultaneously, taking classes in port-duty administration and commerce. The future seemed bright for young Aristotle who later transformed into one of the most inspiring figures in the business world.
Left: Aristotle Onassis smoking a cigar during a party in Athens, Greece, Right: Aristotle Onassis celebrates his anniversary with wife Jackie Kennedy Onassis while smoking a habano.
“HIS TIME IN OLYMPIC AIRWAYS IS KNOWN AS GOLDEN ERA”
BUSINESS – Soon after the conclusion of his studies, Onassis became one of the most successful entrepreneurs and shipping magnates to ever existed. The first and foremost industry that Aristotle Onassis thrived in was shipping. Although he charged one of the lowest prices in the merchant navy market, Onassis used to turn a large profit in almost every transaction. And there is a simple explanation to that. Due to having Panamanian and Liberian flags, Onassis fleet mostly sailed-tax-free, operating in an incredibly low-cost budget. In addition, he signed long-term deals with Big Oil companies, such as Mobil, Socony, and Texaco, raising his profits even further, justifying the assertion according to which Onassis is amongst the richest men to ever walk the earth.
In 1953, Onassis arrived at the Mediterranean principality of Monaco while, soon after his arrival, he took over the SBM (Societes des bains de mer de Monaco) - its assets including the Monaco Yacht Club, the Hotel de Paris, and The Monte Carlo Casino. As a result of his well-established name in the business world, Aristotle Onassis was welcomed by Prince Rainier III, Monaco’s ruler at that time, as one of the country’s major investors.
After a failing attempt to expand his business into whaling, Onassis became strongly involved with Greek airways company, Olympic Airways. His reign there lasted from 1956 until 1974. Due to investments he made in training the acquisition of cutting edge technology, Onassis’ time in the lead of Olympic Airways is known as a golden era. However, for him, owning an airline seemed more like a personal bet. Former high ranking director of Olympic Airways, Paul Ioannidis, stated that Olympic Airways was a project that Onassis took deep pride – a personal accomplishment rather than simply another business plan.
“ONASSIS AND JACKIE’S MARRIAGE FACED MANY STRUGGLES”
PERSONAL LIFE – Aristotle Onassis’ personal and private life was as busy, complicated, and publicised as his career. Athina Mary-Tina Livanos was Aristotle’s first wife. Onassis was forty at the time of their marriage, while Athina was only seventeen. Onassis and Livanos had two children together, Alexander and Christina, both born in New York City, while his daughter’s name served as his inspiration behind the name of his legendary super-yacht. But their marriage did not have a happy end. The couple separated after Athina had found Onassis in bed with a friend of hers while they divorced in 1960, after the businessman’s well-publicised affair with Callas.
Opera prima donna Maria Callas and Onassis carried on an affair for many years, despite the fact that they were both married. Having met at a party in Venice, Callas and Onassis were immediately fascinated by one another. Although they both divorced their partners, the famous prima donna and Onassis continued their relationship without ever getting married.
Last yet equally important, Onassis married Jacqueline Kennedy, widow of the U.S. president John F. Kennedy, on 20 October 1968. Their relationship faced many difficulties, which most of them had to do with Onassis' inheritance and involved Jackie and his daughter Christina. Also, it worth pointing out that Onassis' children never liked Jackie in the first place, as they believed that had some kind of a deathly curse due to John and Robert Kennedy's assassinations. Nevertheless, after Aristotle’s death in 1975, Christina settled with Jackie for $25 million in exchange for Jacqueline not contesting Onassis’ will.
Top Left: Aristotle Onassis and first wife Athina Mary-Tina Livanos, Top Right: Aristotle Onassis with daughter Christina Onassis, Bottom Left: Jackie Kenndey Onassis and Aristotle Onassis on their wedding day, Bottom Right: Maria Callas and Aristotle Onassis.
“SMOKING WITH CHURCHILL IN HIS YACHT”
CIGARS – Aristotle Onassis was a true cigar aficionado. He was rarely seen without a habano between his fingers, while he was many times captured puffing on a cigar publicly. In particular, the famous shipping magnate had a weak spot for Montecristo Cigars and Romeo y Julieta cigars. As it is mentioned in the book Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story, Onassis is being portrayed with “an enveloping cloud of Montectristo cigar smoke”. One of the biggest Cuban Cigars Online brands, there is no surprise that Onassis was a fan of Montecristo habanos. Hand-rolled into an exceptional Cervantes vitola, the Montecristo No. 1 Cigar is one of the most sought after smokes on the market. Measuring at 165 mm long by a ring gauge of 42, this habano develops plentiful of complex flavours, delivering a mix of bold and mild aromas in a great balance. Aimed for the casual type of smoker, the Montecristo Open Master Cigar is perfect for those who enjoy a pleasurable smoke outside. Coming in the Robustos vitola, the open master puro is ideal for smoking after a game of sport or a round of golf due to its short length.
Aristotle Onassis was also popular for his strong friendships with many celebrities, businessmen, or even politicians of that time. Amongst them was cigar aficionado and inspiring politician, Winston Churchill. In particular, Churchill travelled the Greek islands with Onassis in his luxurious yacht “Christina” while they were both puffing on Churchill’s favourite smokes, the legendary Romeo y Julieta Churchills Cigar. A strong yet flavoursome habano, the Churchill puro comes in a Julieta No. 2 vitola and measures at 178 mm by a 47 ring gauge – a Regular Production cigar that every cigar aficionado should have inside their humidor.
Aristotle Onassis with friend Winston Churchill cruising the Greek islands
A man that wrote history in the business world, Aristotle Onassis is widely famous both for his opulent yet adventurous lifestyle and for his love for Cuban Cigars for Sale Online. As we have discussed above, Onassis’ life was filled with success, reconstructed failure, wealth, love, and, of course, habanos. Read more from our Cuban Cigar Blog and learn all there is to know about the habanos industry: