Athina Roussel, granddaughter of Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis, will become the richest teenager on the planet Wednesday, her 18th birthday.
Her fortune, estimated at $800 million to $1 billion, comes from her grandfather, fabled Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis, who was once wed to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
Athina was 3 in 1988 when her mother, Christina Onassis, 37, was found dead while visiting friends in Buenos Aires; she apparently had a heart attack caused by diet medication.
Christina's assets were left in trust to her only child, who has been reared in Switzerland by her father, French pharmaceutical heir Thierry Roussel, Christina's fourth husband. They divorced eight months after Athina's birth.
The dark-haired heiress is smart, determined and an Olympic-class rider with a close-knit family that includes a warm stepmother. She has a boyfriend who is a decade older than she is.
Her assets, until now controlled by the Swiss government, include cash, stock holdings, Triple A bonds, gold, villas, priceless art, a private jet, a share in Manhattan's Olympic Tower and the Greek island of Skorpios.
The reclusive heiress rarely gives interviews.
She will be in the limelight again on her 21st birthday, when she could take over the Onassis Foundation, which controls the other half of the family empire.