|INDUSTRIALIST, HORSE BREEDER (FRANCE)|
BORN 17 Apr 1889, Châteauroux, Indre - DIED 21 Mar 1980, Dammarie-sur-Loing, Loiret|
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Montmartre Cimetière, 20 Avenue Rachel (division 30; ligne 1, no. 22)
Marcel Boussac entered the garment factory of his father in Paris when he was sixteen years old. Soon he went to Paris where he created a daring collection of women's clothers in cheerful colours in 1911. It was an enormous success and he quickly made a fortune in textile. He bought his first race horses and in 1919 he aqcuired the Château de Mivoisin in Dammarie-sur-Loing, Loiret. He also bought the Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard horse breeding farm in Neuvy-au-Houlme. In France he opened the Toile d’Avion chain of retail shops and he became one of the richest men of the country. In 1939 he married the Belgian singer Fanny Heldy.
During the Second World War his membership of the National Council in vichy France and his good relations with German officers enabled him to keep his factories. But he couldn't prevent the transportation of many of his race horses to Germany, among them his stallion Pharis, although he refused to sell it. After the war his reputation was saved when it became clear that he had continued to pay the wages of deported employees to their relatives.
In 1946 he financed Christian Dior's new fashion business in Paris and in 1951 he bought the newspaper L'Aurore. His wife Fanny died in 1973. In 1978 his business empire was unable to refinance its debts and it collapsed and was sold. He died in 1980 at his castle and was buried beside Fanny at the Montmartre Cemetery in Paris.
Wife: Heldy, Fanny