Biography Channel: Christina Onassis (2010)
Christina Onassis Heiress and businesswoman. Born December 11, 1950 in New York City, Christina Onassis was the daughter of self-made Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Socrates Onassis, Christina spent her early childhood in New York and Switzerland, as much to further her education as to escape the family's media scrutiny and her parent's divorce. In 1968, her father married Jacqueline Kennedy, the widow of former President John F. Kennedy. Her mother, Athina, also remarried, this time to Stavros Niarchos, who was not only Aristotle's primary shipping rival, but the widower of Athina's sister. As public interest in her family grew, Christina became increasingly determined to carve her own path. After dropping out of Queens College, she married a realtor who was more than twice her age. The marriage would be the first of four, none of which lasted more than two years. After the marriage ended, Christina devoted herself to working at her father's headquarters in Monaco. She started as a secretary, but soon proved herself to be a savvy, intelligent businesswoman. Before long, she was running the family business. Unfortunately, Christina's success in business was overshadowed by tragedy in her personal life. In the early 1970s, within five years of one another, her brother, Alexander, her mother and her father would all die of unrelated circumstances. Though she continued to successfully run the shipping empire, the press frequently reported of her addiction to amphetamines and barbiturates. On November 19, 1988, Christina was found dead in a friend's home in Argentina. Her death was attributed to a heart attack brought on by years of drug abuse. Christina is survived by her daughter, Athina, who was born in 1985. Athina lives with her father, Thierry Roussel, stepmother and three step-siblings in Switzerland and France and is the sole heiress to the $600 million Onassis fortune and a $2.4 billion inheritance.