Goldsmith, James

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Goldsmith, James Gender: M
James Michael Goldsmith
born on 26 February 1933 at 09:00 (= 09:00 AM )
Place Paris, France, 48n52, 2e20
Timezone GMT h0e (is standard time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Geslain
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_piscol.18.gif 07°20' s_mo.18.gif s_piscol.18.gif 29°38 Asc.s_taucol.18.gif 15°17'


French-British financier and politician, tycoon and founder of the Referendum Party. He was one of the most charismatic, controversial, and colorful tycoons of the past four decades, singularly bold and a fearless risk taker. He was elected as a French Member of the European Parliament in 1994 but became quite disillusioned with the project and took to warfare against the growth of a super state. In Britain, however, his Referendum Party was outflanked by the two major parties when both pledged themselves to hold a referendum before entering a European single currency.

His father, named Goldschmidt, was a Conservative MP for eight years. They were distant cousins to the Rothschild's of the banking dynasty. Most of the family left Frankfurt when Bismarck ended the city's independence in 1866. His grandparents settled in London with a stylish house in Mayfair and a 2,500 acre estate near Newmarket in Suffolk. His father, Frank, changed the family name to Goldsmith. Jimmy was the second son, born when his dad was 55. His mom was a beauty, from a peasant family in the Auvergne.

Jimmy learned young that one of the advantages of wealth and position was the opportunity to cultivate a taste for promiscuity, following the example of his dad. As an adult, he was impervious to any criticism of his adultery, though the least breath of disapproval of his skills in the world of commerce was met with ferocity. Both boys were such delinquents that their father finally sent them to a boarding school in Canada. Though the school was strict, it failed to reign in young Jimmy. Once, at age ten, he took himself off for a weekend in New York where he booked a room at the Waldorf-Astoria.

After the war, attending Eton proved to be hopeless. The youth threw grand parties in the better hotels as well as encouraging companionship for his junkets to the race tracks. Math was the only subject that grabbed him, an enthusiasm that lasted a lifetime.

Just months before Jimmy turned 16, he made a bet at the track that paid back some 8,000 pounds, an equivalent of a U.S. sum of $300,000 in the '90s. He promptly left Eton to join his brother at Oxford. There his education in hedonism, gambling and sexual adventures began in earnest. Going through his money in short order, he ended up in debt. When his dad picked up the tab, it was on the condition that he enter the National Service in Britain. He ended up a second lieutenant and later admitted that the experience was rewarding.

On his return to Paris, Jimmy met and fell in love with 18-year-old Isabel Patino, the daughter of the Bolivian tin magnate Don Antenor Patino. Daddy was not impressed by the young Jewish playboy, but the young lovers eloped, arranging a furtive marriage in Scotland. Their adventure made the front page of newspapers around the world. Just three months later, the fairytale romance had a tragic ending. Isabel suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage and died 12 hours after a daughter, Isobel, had been delivered by Caesarean section. The funeral was a state occasion, however, the bad blood between Patino and Goldsmith meant that Goldsmith had to go to court to obtain custody of his daughter.

Needing money, Goldsmith took over a failing pharmaceutical company. He expanded rapidly but his lack of experience and education was a handicap; he went bankrupt. The strain caused him to go prematurely bald. Creditors were closing in when he found a buyer and cleared his debts. He learned a great deal from the venture, and the secretary who helped him through the crisis, Ginette Lery, became his lover, stepmother to Isobel and mother of two of his children.

By then, Goldsmith was in funds from a slimming products company he had founded in France, but he yearned to be a success in England. He bought into a small chain of chemist shops with an Iraqi Jew partner, Selim Zilkha, and they soon expanded. Before long, he sold his half share in a business that eventually became globally famous, Mothercare.

To bring his slimming foods to Britain, he needed venture capitol and he turned to Sir Isaac Wolfson, founder of one of the UK's largest companies, Great Universal Stores. Wolfson loaned him a million pounds at an interest rate of 100 percent. Goldsmith renamed his company Cavenham, and expanded rapidly through acquisitions. He was on his way to great fortune as a corporate raider, asset-stripper and empire builder.

He took up with Annabel Birley, second daughter of the 8th Marques of Londonberry. When they married in 1978, he did not abandon Ginette Lery after their divorce, and maintained his French home and family.

Goldsmith grieved greatly when his dad died in 1967 at the age of 89. He and the old man shared the feeling of being outsiders and mavericks as well as the ambition to shine in their environment.

He bought a French bank and a holding company for his French and British interests. The turning point for Cavenham was the 14.5 million Pounds takeover of Bovril in 1971. He stripped the dairies and South American beef ranches from the business and recouped almost all the initial purchase price. This provided the funds for a great leap forward; the 1972 takeover of Allied Suppliers, a vast grocery chain. His deal making gathered impetus. In 1975-76, his name went to the front pages with his celebrated attack on Private Eye and the controversial knighthood awarded him in Harold Wilson's notorious "lavender" Resignation Honours List. Goldsmith remarked, "You have heard of the power of the press. Now you will discover the power of money."

His French company, Generale Occidentale, ultimately acquired Cavenham, but Goldsmith's interests by now had turned to North America. He bought a weekly paper whose success compensated in part for the total failure in Britain of his magazine "Now!" which lasted less than two years, 1979-81. His trophies in the U.S. included Diamond International and another paper group, Crown Zellebach. Among other things, he added oil to his portfolio.

Just ahead of the global stock market crash of October 1987, Goldsmith displayed remarkable foresight in turning his assets into cash with the sale of the French companies. He then proceeded to build a vast retreat in Mexico. His mistress at the time was a niece of the Comte de Paris, Laure Bouley de la Meurthe. Goldsmith's last great corporate adventure was in 1989, when he teamed up with his good gambling friend, Kerry Packer and distant cousin Lord Rothschild, to bid 13 billion Pounds for BAT Industries, the tobacco and financial services company. Their leveraged bid to "unbundle" the company with junk bond financing failed but Goldsmith expressed pleasure that the company was spurred into action and forced to deliver latent value back to shareholders.

With his vast wealth behind him, Goldsmith then espoused environmental issues. As well as threats to the ecology, he also saw danger to the West from the opening of Western markets to Third World countries. This, he argued in a best-selling book in Paris, 1994, would not only cripple the industries of the West but eventually destroy its political institutions as well.

His bad heart was a companion that did not slow him, and Goldsmith died of a heart attack on 19 July 1997 in Marbella, Spain.

He was survived by one daughter, Isobel, one son and daughter by his second wife, two sons and one daughter from his third and final marriage to Lady Annabel Birley, and a daughter and a son by his last long term mistress, Laure de la Meurthe.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • has other family relationship with Khan, Ray (born 17 November 1996). Notes: Grandson


  • Death of Father 1967
  • Financial : Gain significant money 1971 ($14.5 million pound takeover of Bovril)
  • Work : Start Business 1972 (Allied Supplies)
  • Relationship : Marriage 1978 (Third marriage Annabel Birley)
  • Financial : Gain significant money October 1987 (Converted some business to cash before market crash)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Financial : Best Period 1989 (Another business acquisition BAT Industries)
  • Work : Gain social status 1994 (French member of the European Parliament)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1994 (Book published)
  • Death by Heart Attack 19 July 1997 in Marbella (Age 64)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Didier Geslain archive, 'politique g-m' pdf file, p. 24.

same data: Sally Davis quotes B.C. from Luc de Marre, Transit 7/1998


  • Traits : Body : Hair (Premature baldness)
  • Traits : Body : Size (6' 4")
  • Traits : Personality : Charismatic (Sexual charisma)
  • Family : Childhood : Advantaged (Wealth and position)
  • Family : Childhood : Order of birth (Second of two boys)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (Three)
  • Family : Relationship : Stress - Extramarital affairs (Constant mistresses)
  • Family : Relationship : Stress - Traumatic event (First wife died of cerebral hemmorhage)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids more than 3 (Four boys and four girls, various mothers)
  • Vocation : Business : Entrepreneur (International high business takeovers)
  • Vocation : Military : Military service (Second lieutenant, Britain)
  • Vocation : Politics : Public office (European Parliament)