Warplane Builder Dassault Dies in Paris at Age of 94
Marcel Dassault, who made a fortune building some of the world’s most sophisticated warplanes, died overnight at age 94, American Hospital officials said today.
His professional life spanned more than 70 years, from developing wooden propellers for World War I biplanes to selling supersonic Mirage fighters and executive jets in more than 50 countries. At his death, he was also senior member of the French National Assembly.
Dassault was considered one of the richest men in Europe. His interests in addition to aeronautics included real estate, film studios, publishing and vineyards.
“I was influenced by the life of Edison,” Dassault wrote in a 1970 autobiography.
Born Marcel Bloch on Jan. 22, 1892, he was the youngest of four sons of Dr. Adolphe Bloch, a French Jew and Paris physician. After surviving a Nazi concentration camp, in 1949, like thousands of other French Jews, Dassault had his name legally changed. In the 1950s, he converted to Roman Catholicism.