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Edmond de Rothschild, influential Frenchman

Published Oct. 2, 2005

Baron Edmond de Rothschild, a banker and member of a family that has played a major role in French business and culture, has died at age 71.

Baron Rothschild, whose family helped make Paris one of the most significant financial capitals in Europe, died of emphysema overnight Sunday in Geneva, a spokesman said.

With its vast wealth, the baron's family acquired first-rate art and period furnishings, much of which has been donated to French museums like the Louvre. His family also is famed for its wineries in the Bordeaux region, including the baron's Chateau Clark.

He was president of his Geneva-based bank and financial companies as well as the Luxembourg-based Leicom Fund. He also was a former president of the Israel General Bank in Tel Aviv, the Israeli-based Caesarea Development Corp. Ltd. and the Israel European Company Isrop in Luxembourg, among other companies.

Baron Rothschild was named an officer of the Legion of Honor in 1994 and of the Arts and Letters in 1990.

His father, a Jewish senator in France, moved the family to Geneva after voting against the pro-Nazi Vichy regime during World War II.

Baron Edmond Adolphe Maurice Jules Jacques de Rothschild was born in Paris on Sept. 30, 1926, the son of banker Baron Maurice Rothschild and Noemie Halphen. He was educated at the University of Geneva and the faculty of law in Paris.

He married Nadine Lhopitalier, with whom he had one son, Benjamin, now 34, who succeeds him.

_ Area obituaries and the Suncoast Deaths list appear in local sections.