Gérard Louis-Dreyfus Net Worth & Biography
|Gérard C. Louis-Dreyfus
|21 June 1932
|Died on 16 September 2016 (aged 84)
|Judith LeFever Bowles (m. 1959; div. 1962)
Phyllis Blankenship (m. 1965)
|Businessman, Entrepreneur, Investor
The French-American businessman Gérard Louis-Dreyfus, had a fortune of $4 billion as estimated by Forbes magazine at the time of his passing. He is best remembered for his work as the chairman and chief executive of Louis Dreyfus Energy Services.
Gérard’s great-grandfather, Léopold Louis-Dreyfus, was the founder of Louis Dreyfus Group back in 1951. Born in Paris, France, he moved to the United States in 1940 with his mother after her separation from Gérard’s father, Pierre Louis-Dreyfus, who not only led the Louis Dreyfus group but also fought in the French Resistance during World War II. Gérard served as the chairman of Louis Dreyfus Energy Services at one time in his life. He adopted the name William because of his integration into American society in 1945. He was the father of American actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus. More details follow below.
Early Life: Family, Childhood
He was born Gérard C. Louis-Dreyfus on 21 June 1932 in Paris, France. He was the son of Pierre Louis-Dreyfus, and the great-grandson of Léopold Louis-Dreyfus, a business mogul who established the Louis Dreyfus Group in 1851. Gérard’s mother was an American-born catholic woman named Dolores Porges. She was the daughter of a Mexican mother and a Brazilian father. His father was Jewish, and fought in the French Resistance during the Second World War. He has a sister named Dominique Cornwell.
In 1940, after his parents divorced, he moved to the United States with his mother, and within four years, he had adopted a new name “William” as a sign of his integration into the society.
Gérard attended Duke University and Duke University School of Law.
Professional Life: Law & Political Endeavors
After his graduation, he worked at the Dewey Ballantine law firm in New York before joining his family’s business, the Louis Dreyfus Group in 1965.
Gérard served as chairman of the Poetry Society of America for ten years from 1998 to 2008. He had poems published in numerous publications including The Hudson Review.
In October 2012, he published a full-page advertisement in The New York Times, titled “A Call To Arms To The Wealthy To Protect The Right To Vote”. This was an ad that was dedicated to encouraging wealthy citizens of the United States to fight voter suppression. He generously donated $1 million to this cause without pressure.
Personal Life: Wife, Children, Private Interests
This American lawyer and businessman was married twice during his lifetime.
In 1955, he entered marriage for the first time, with Judith LeFever. Their union resulted in the birth of a daughter, actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus who was born in January 1961. The couple divorced the following year due to reasons that were never disclosed.
In 1965, he married Phyllis Blankenship, with whom he had two daughters, both social workers: Emma R. Louis-Dreyfus and Phoebe Émilie Dominique Louis-Dreyfus Eavis. In 1996, Phoebe married English financial journalist Peter Eavis in Bedford, New York. Emma died on 13 August 2018. Gérard also had a son, Raphael Penteado. One of his cousins was Jean Louis-Dreyfus, another grandson of the Louis Dreyfus Energy Services founder, Léopold Louis-Dreyfus. Another cousin was Robert Louis-Dreyfus, ex-Chairman of French football club Olympique de Marseille and the former chief executive officer of Adidas.
Gérard Louis-Dreyfus died on 16 September 2016 at his residence in Mount Kisco, New York. He was 84 years old at the time. His daughter, Julia, a seasoned American actress, dedicated her 2016 Emmy Award to her late father.
Gerard Louis-Dreyfus Net Worth: Salary, Income Sources, Assets
This French-native American businessman worked as a lawyer in the earliest part of his career before moving on to join the family business, Dreyfus Energy Services, which was founded by his great grandfather Léopold Louis-Dreyfus. Gerard’s own father, Pierre Louis-Dreyfus, fought in the French Resistance during the Second World War before heading the Louis Dreyfus group until his demise. When Gerard finally took over the sprawling family conglomerate, he led it to greater heights as chairman and chief executive and succeeded in engraving his name and legacy in many ways that will definitely ensure that memories of his accomplishments will not be forgotten in a hurry.
At the time of his passing in 2016, Mr. Gerard Louis-Dreyfus was reported to own a wealth of $4 billion, mostly earned from his time at the helm of leadership at the family business Louis Dreyfus Energy Services. Well known with his adopted name “William” which he chose upon arriving in the United States with his mother as a boy, the late businessman touched many lives with his open-mindedness and straightforward patterns of business dealings and leadership.