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Ted Arison

(1924 - 1998)

Ted Arison was an Israeli shipping magnate and founder of Carnival Cruise Lines.

Arison was born in Zikhron Ya'akov and attended the Herzlia Gymnasia in Tel Aviv before studying for a year at the American University of Beirut. He fought in Italy and Germany in World War II as part of the Jewish Brigade of the British Army and again in Israel's War of Independence as a lieutenant colonel. After the war he set up a shipping agency but liquidated his operations in the early 1950s and moved to the United States, where he built up a major shipping business, culminating in 1972 when he started Carnival Cruise Lines for the holiday cruise trade. Under the aegis of the Carnival Corporation he acquired additional lines, such as Holland America and Cunard, becoming the biggest cruise line operator in the world with 46 ships. In 1990 he resigned as president of Carnival in favor of his son, MICKY, and in 1994 returned to Israel, setting up Arison Investments Ltd., which purchased a controlling interest in Bank Hapoalim for $1 billion as well as the Shikun u-Fittuaḥ construction company, both giants in the *Histadrut business empire.

A long-time resident of Miami, Arison established the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts there in 1981 as well as the New World Symphony Orchestra in 1987 with Michael Tilson Thomas. He was also instrumental in getting the city the NBA's Miami Heat. The Arison Foundation was active in philanthropical projects in both the United States and Israel. His personal fortune was estimated at as much as $10 billion.

Upon his death, his daughter, SHARI, took over the family's Israeli operations, including Bank Hapoalim, while Micky Arison continued to head Carnival from Miami. In 2005 she ranked 84th on the Forbes List, with an estimated worth of $5.5 billion, making her Israel's wealthiest citizen. In 1999 she founded Matan, a charity modeled on United Way.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.