Maurice Tempelsman

Born Aug 26, 1929

Maurice Tempelsman is a Belgian-American businessman and diamond merchant. He moved to the United States as a child and attended New York City’s public schools and New York University. Tempelsman is multilingual and has interests in the fields of history, archaeology, sailing, and visual arts.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Maurice Tempelsman.


1929 Birth Tempelsman was born on August 26, 1929 in Antwerp, Belgium, the son of Leon and Helene Tempelsman, both Orthodox Jews, in a Yiddish-speaking family in Antwerp’s Jewish community.
1940 10 Years Old In 1940, Tempelsman and his family emigrated to the United States to escape persecution by Nazi Germany during World War II. … Read More


1949 19 Years Old Tempelsman has three grown children by his wife Lilly Bucholz, a woman who had also fled Antwerp with her family. They were married in 1949. … Read More


1950 20 Years Old In 1950 he created a new marketing niche by persuading the US-government to stockpile African diamonds for industrial and military purposes, with him as middleman, and in 1957, at the age of 27, he and his lawyer, Adlai Stevenson, traveled to Africa, where Tempelsman had begun forging ties with leaders. … Read More


1977 47 Years Old …  From March 3, 1977, Tempelsman briefly held the title of honorary consul general for Zaire, now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), at the DRC’s consular offices in New York City. … Read More


1984 54 Years Old Tempelsman and Bucholz formally separated in 1984. According to People, Bucholz and Tempelsman never legally divorced. Tempelsman was the longtime companion of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The two began their lengthy relationship in 1980, five years after the death of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ second husband Aristotle Onassis.
1988 58 Years Old In 1988, Tempelsman moved into Onassis’s Fifth Avenue penthouse apartment in New York City. … Read More


1993 63 Years Old From 1993 to 1997, Tempelsman visited the White House at least ten times, met privately with Hillary Clinton on two separate occasions, vacationed with the Clintons and the Kennedy family in Martha's Vineyard, and flew to Moscow and back with President Clinton on Air Force One.
1999 69 Years Old Tempelsman served as chairman of the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) from 1999 to 2002 and again from 2007 to 2008, after which he was named chairman emeritus. … Read More
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