French aerospace billionaire Olivier Dassault, a politician and heir to one of the country’s greatest family fortunes, died in a helicopter crash Sunday afternoon, said French President Emmanuel Macron, who called his death “a great loss” to France.
Dassault and a pilot were both killed after the private helicopter crashed in Normandy, in northern France where Dassault has a vacation house, police told Reuters.
“Olivier Dassault loved France,” Macron said. “During his life, he never ceased to serve our country, to value its assets.”
According to a Forbes estimate, Dassault was worth $7.3 billion at the time of his death, much of it inherited from his father, industrialist Serge Dassault, who died in 2018.
Dassault was an heir to his family’s aerospace and software fortune, which first began during World War I when his grandfather Marcel founded Dassault Aviation and sold propellers. The family also owns Le Figaro newspaper and a winery. In 2018, Forbes estimated the Dassault family was worth $22.6 billion. Dassault was also a politician, and in 2002 was elected to France’s National Assembly, the equivalent of Congress. He ran part of the center-right party the Union for a Popular Movement, which later became The Republicans, the second-largest party in terms of representation in the National Assembly.
Source: Forbes – Business