Rothschild, Guy de, Baron 1909-2007 (Guy Edouard Alphonse Paul de Rothschild)

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Rothschild, Guy de, Baron 1909-2007 (Guy Edouard Alphonse Paul de Rothschild)


See index for CA sketch: Born May 21, 1909, in Paris, France; died June 12, 2007, in Paris, France. Bank executive, financier, philanthropist, winegrower, racehorse breeder, and writer. Baron Guy de Rothschild was the descendent of one of the wealthiest families of Europe. The members of the House of Rothschild were prominent bankers to European royalty and nobility since their beginnings in France in the early 1800s. Guy de Rothschild took over the massive family banking and railroad empire as a young man. He subsequently lost it to the Nazi occupation and seizure of properties belonging to French Jews, then regained and rebuilt it after World War II, only to lose it again to a French socialist nationalization policy under President François Mitterand in 1981. Under his leadership the family business, which included many investments and holding companies, had diversified to include mining operations, industrial and construction activities, and chemical manufacturing assets. Though not all of his expansions boosted the Rothschild fortunes, the baron nonetheless is credited with spreading his empire throughout the world before abandoning his homeland in disgust for life in England and America. This placed the family in an excellent position for a revival in the mid-1980s, when the French government returned control of the banking empire to the family under the leadership of Baron Guy's son, David de Rothschild. Though Baron Guy had headed a vast financial empire, he was equally known for his profitable personal entertainments. The family wine label, Château Lafite Rothschild, became highly regarded throughout the world. Baron Guy was a horse racing aficionado and owner of several thoroughbred race winners. He and his second wife, Marie-Hélène, were also fond of hosting extravagant parties at their sprawling country estate, parties that kept the Rothschild name on the social page as well as the financial page. Rothschild wrote in his 1983 memoir, Contre bonne fortune, that wealth should be enjoyed but should also contribute to the well-being of mankind. He was an active leader and supporter of the philanthropic United Jewish Welfare Fund for more than thirty years. Rothschild's other writings include a fictional work titled Le Fantôme de lea (1998).



Rothschild, Guy de, Contre bonne fortune, Belfond (Paris, France), 1983, translation published as The Whims of Fortune: The Memoirs of Guy de Rothschild, Random House (New York, NY), 1985.


Chicago Tribune, June 15, 2007, sec. 3, p. 9.

Los Angeles Times, June 16, 2007, Adam Bernstein, p. B10.

New York Times, June 14, 2007, Paul Lewes, p. A25.

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Rothschild, Guy de, Baron 1909-2007 (Guy Edouard Alphonse Paul de Rothschild)

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Rothschild, Guy de, Baron 1909-2007 (Guy Edouard Alphonse Paul de Rothschild)