Marcel Dassault (Marcel Bloch)

Marcel Dassault

Marcel Dassault was born was Marcel Bloch on January 22, 1892 in Paris. Both his parents were Jewish.  He was educated at the Lycée Condorcet in Paris. He graduated from the Breguet School and Supaéro.  Dassault invented a type of aircraft propeller used by the French army during World War I and founded the Société des Avions Marcel Bloch aircraft company. Following the nationalization of his company in 1936, under the Front Populaire, he stayed as a director.  After refusing collaboration with the German aviation industry of Bordeaux-Aéronautique, Dassault was deported to Buchenwald during World War II, while his wife was interned near Paris. After the war, he built the foremost military aircraft manufacturer in France, Avions Marcel Dassault. The firm is now the Groupe Industriel Marcel Dassault, whose CEO was Serge Dassault, Marcel’s son. From the Sabatier d’Espeyran family, Marcel Dassault purchased the buildings at nos. 7 and 9 rond-point des Champs-Elysées at the angle of the avenue des Champs-Élysées and avenue Montaigne in Paris. The impressive structure at no. 7, built in 1844, has been altered over the years including by Dassault’s friend, architect Georges Hennequin (1893—1969), when Dassault acquired the buildings in July 1952. (The neo-Louis XV-style domicile at no. 7, first as the Hôtel d’Espeyran, was built by architect Henri Parent for Félicie Durand [1819-1899], the widow of Frédéric Sabatier d’Espeyran [1813-1864].) Now known as the Hôtel Marcel Dassault, the building at no. 7 has been occupied from 2002 by auction house Artcurial, which further made alterations according to plans by architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte. The structure at no. 9 continues to be occupied by the Groupe Industriel Marcel Dassault.

In 1919, he married Madeleine Minckes, the daughter of a wealthy Jewish family of furniture dealers. They had two sons, Claude and Serge.  He changed his name from Bloch to Bloch-Dassault and, in 1949, to simply Dassault. Dassault was the codename used by his brother, General Darius Paul Bloch, when he served in the French resistance, and is derived from char d’assaut, French for “battle tank”. He converted to Roman Catholicism in 1950.  Marcel Dassault died in Neuilly-sur-Seine, in 1986 and was buried in the Passy Cemetery in the 16th arrondissement of Paris.  In 1991, the rond-point des Champs-Elysées was renamed the rond-point des Champs-Elysées-Marcel Dassault in his honor.  In The Adventures of Tintin comic Flight 714, Dassault is parodied as the aircraft construction tycoon Laszlo Carreidas – “the millionaire who never laughs”, who offers Tintin, Captain Haddock and Professor Calculus his personal jet, the Carreidas 160 to travel to Sydney.

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Born

  • January, 22, 1892
  • Paris, France

Died

  • April, 17, 1986
  • Neuilly-sur-Seine, France

Cemetery

  • Cimetiere de Passy
  • Paris, France

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