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Calouste Gulbenkian

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Calouste_Gulbenkian&chld=H_100&junk=junk.png Calouste Gulbenkian Mars symbol.svg
Birth name Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian
Name in Armenian Գալուստ Սարգիս Կիւլպէնկեան
Birthplace Constantinople
Birth date 1 March 1896
Lived in Istanbul, London, Baku, Cairo, Lisbon
Resides in Lisbon
Death place Lisbon
Death date 1955/07/20
Death year 1955
Education King's College London
Profession Businessman, Philanthropist
Languages Armenian, English, Turkish
Ethnicities Armenian
Dialects Western Armenian
Ancestral villages Üsküdar
Spouses Nevarte Essayan
Children Nubar Sarkis, Sivarte

Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian (1869-1955) was an Armenian businessman and philanthropist.

He was born in Istanbul and educated at King's College, London, where he studied engineering. Immediately on leaving, he went into the oil business, and was one of the first to open up the Middle East to the trade. He was involved in founding the Shell Group, and his habit of retaining five per cent of the shares of the oil companies he developed earned him the nickname, "Mr. Five Per Cent".

When Iraq was taken from the Ottoman Empire in World War I its oil was divided up between the western countries and controlled through the Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC). Gulbenkian owned five percent of IPC.

Gulbenkian amassed a huge fortune and an art collection which he kept in a private museum at his Paris home. Following his death in Portugal, a museum and charitable foundation were established on the site of his former home in Lisbon. The Foundation is chiefly associated with educational and artistic projects.



William Saroyan

In his book, Letters from 74 rue Taitbout, William Saroyan writes a long letter about his experiences meeting with and talking to Calouste Gulbenkian during his stay in Lisbon, upon discovering that by chance they were staying at the same hotel[1].

See also


  1. Saroyan, William. (1969). Letters from 74 rue Taitbout

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