Dassault Patriarch Passes at 93

French billionaire led company for more than 30 years.

Serge Dassault
Serge Dassault also owned the French newspaper Le Figaro.Dassault

Serge Dassault was more than just a name behind the famous aircraft builder. When he died on Monday, he was one of the richest men in France, worth somewhere between U.S. $26-$27 billion. The 93-year old billionaire politician also owned the French newspaper Le Figaro. Dassault succumbed to a heart attack while at the Dassault Aviation group headquarters in Paris where he served as chief executive. Dassault Aviation manufactures the Falcon line of business jets as well as the Mirage and Rafale fighter jets and has delivered more than 10,000 military and civil aircraft to more than 90 countries.

The NBAA today joined with the European Business Aviation Association in dedicating this year’s European Business Aviation Convention and Exposition (EBACE) in Geneva to Mr. Dassault. (EBAA) Chairman Juergen Wiese said, “Serge Dassault was a giant and a legend who not only influenced aviation, but also commerce and politics in France and throughout Europe.

The Financial Times quoted French president Emmanuel Macron about the aviation executive. “In Serge Dassault, France lost a man who devoted his life to developing a flagship of French industry,“ adding “Serge was the son of the industrialist Marcel Bloch, who survived the Nazi concentration camps and changed his name to Dassault after the war. His father founded the aircraft company Dassault and helped it flourish thanks to his connections with the French state. Dassault was also the alias of Marcel’s brother when he was part of the French resistance.”