Sir James Michael Goldsmith

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Sir James Michael Goldsmith

Birthplace: Paris, Île-de-France, France
Death: Died in Marbella, AL, Spain
Immediate Family:

Son of Frank Goldsmith and Marcelle Goldsmith
Husband of María Isabel Albina Patiño y de Borbón and Lady Annabel Goldsmith
Ex-husband of <private> Goldsmith (Lery)
Partner of <private> Boulay de la Meurthe
Father of Zac Goldsmith; <private> Goldsmith Patiño; <private> Goldsmith; <private> Marcaccini (Goldsmith); Jemima Marcelle Goldsmith and 3 others
Brother of Edward René David Goldsmith

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Immediate Family

About Sir James Michael Goldsmith

He was an Anglo-French financier. Towards the end of his life, he became a magazine publisher and a politician. In 1994, he was elected to represent France as a Member of the European Parliament and he subsequently founded the short-lived eurosceptic Referendum Party in Britain. He was known for his many romantic relationships and for the various children he fathered with his wives and girlfriends.

Born into a Jewish family in Paris, Goldsmith was the son of luxury hotel owner and former Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) Major Frank Goldsmith and his French wife Marcelle Moullier, and younger brother of environmental campaigner Edward Goldsmith. Goldsmith attended Eton, but dropped out in 1949. Two years later, having attended Millfield as one of its earliest pupils, Goldsmith joined the army after his father had paid off gambling debts he had incurred. Goldsmith was married three times, and was claimed to have coined the phrase: "When you marry your mistress, you create a job vacancy." However, the phrase was coined by Sacha Guitry.

His first wife, whom he married when 20, was the Bolivian heiress Maria Isabel Patiño, 18-year-old daughter of tin magnate Antenor Patiño and the 3rd Duchess of Dúrcal, of the Spanish royal family. When Goldsmith proposed the marriage to Antenor Patiño, Patiño is alleged to have said, "We are not in the habit of marrying Jews", to which Goldsmith is reported to have replied, "Well, I am not in the habit of marrying [Red] Indians." This story, if true, is typical of Goldsmith's humour. With the heiress pregnant and the Patiños insisting the pair separate, the couple eloped in January 1954. The marriage was brief. Rendered comatose by a cerebral hemorrhage in her seventh month of pregnancy, Maria Isabel Patiño y Goldsmith died in May 1954; her only child, Isabel, survived and was delivered by Caesarian section. She was brought up by Goldsmith's family, and on his death, inherited £1.6 billion (at 1997 currency rates) from Goldsmith. Isabel has since become a successful art-collector.

Goldsmith's second wife was Ginette Lery, with whom he had a son, Manes, and daughter, Alix. In 1978, he married for the third time; his new wife was his mistress Lady Annabel Vane-Tempest-Stewart, daughter of the 8th Marquess of Londonderry; the couple had three children, Jemima (born in 1974), Zacharias (born in 1975) and Benjamin (born in 1980) who in 2003 married heiress Kate Emma Rothschild (b. 1982), daughter of the late Amschel Rothschild and his wife Anita Guinness of the Guinness Brewery family.

After his third marriage, Goldsmith embarked on an affair with an aristocratic Frenchwoman, Laure Boulay de la Meurthe, with whom he had two more children. He treated de la Meurthe as his wife and introduced her as such during the last years of his life. Goldsmith died at 64 of a heart attack brought about by pancreatic cancer.


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Sir James Michael Goldsmith's Timeline

February 26, 1933
Paris, Île-de-France, France
January 30, 1974
Age 40
January 20, 1975
Age 41
Westminster Hospital, Westminster, London, England