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Lawrence, Baron Kadoorie

KADOORIE, LAWRENCE, BARON (1899–1993), Hong Kong businessman and communal leader. Kadoorie was descended from prominent Sephardi business families in Hong Kong and Britain; his mother was a *Mocatta. His father built up a substantial business presence in Hong Kong as a banker and company financier, and, in particular, as head of China Power and Light, a major firm on the island and the mainland. Kadoorie was educated at Clifton College in England and then in Shanghai, where the family owned significant property. Kadoorie and his family were interned by the Japanese during World War II. After losing his mainland holdings following the Communist takeover in 1949, Kadoorie focused exclusively on Hong Kong. As head of Sir Elly Kadoorie & Sons, he was one of the most influential businessmen in the colony, holding 14 chairmanships in local companies and serving on Hong Kong's legislative and executive councils. He was knighted in 1974 and received a life peerage on the recommendation of Hong Kong's governor in 1981, possibly the last senior honor to be conferred on a British colonial figure. Shortly before receiving his title, Kadoorie's firm had placed an order worth £600 million with British companies, the largest order in Hong Kong's history. When he died, his fortune was estimated by Fortune magazine at $3.3 billion. Baron Kadoorie was closely associated with Jewish and Sephardi causes and charities.


ODNB online.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.