David Senra

October 18, 2021

Aristotle Onassis: An Extravagant Life


My top 10 highlights from the book:

1. He became one of the richest men in U.S. history ever to be arrested.

2. The epic life of Aristotle Onassis is as mysterious as a tale from ancient Greek mythology and is a study of paradoxes, altogether gripping because of their seeming inconsistencies.

3. Onassis had long since begun to formulate a personal business philosophy. The key to success was boldness, boldness, and more boldness.

4. He was constantly visiting and inspecting ships, talking to ship owners and other importers and quietly absorbing everything, making a very conscious attempt to learn as much as he could before going into ship-owning seriously.

5. He was quite observant about what, to others, were trifles but, to him, were important details. He often quoted Napoleon: “The pursuit of detail is the religion of success.”

6. Onassis was a man of the pier, but with the cocksureness of a king.

7. She simply never knew anyone quite as free or exotic as Aristotle Onassis, a paradoxical blend of raconteur and ruffian.

8. Onassis was a born orator. He could keep a dinner party of some of the world's most sophisticated conversationalists spellbound.

9. Onassis spent almost all of his time working. He would pore over shipping journals from Antwerp, Vancouver, Hamburg, and New York, looking for intelligence, trends, and opportunities. He would scan, study and memorize tonnage, prices, insurance rates and schedules of the world's great and small steamship companies and then attempt to outbid his competitors. He read the maritime sections of at least six foreign language daily newspapers each day.

10. And I, of course, will do exactly as I please.

About David Senra

Learn from history's greatest founders. Every week I read a biography of an entrepreneur and tell you what I learned on Founders podcast