Nixon Enemies List entry for
William G. Louis-Dreyfus:
|List and position:||Second, #341|
|Name as originally listed:||William Louis-Dreyfus|
|Vitals:||6/21/1932 - 9/16/2016|
|1972 location:||New York, NY|
- His great-grandfather, Léopold Dreyfus, founded the Louis Dreyfus Company in 1851. Léopold also changed the family name to Louis-Dreyfus. (The company never got a hyphen.)
- moved to the US at age 8 with his mother to escape the dangers of being a French Jew in 1940. He changed his name from the original "Gérard Louis-Dreyfus" to the more American, accent-free "William." He used "G" as a middle initial.
- degrees from Duke University and Duke Law School.
- chairman of Louis Dreyfus Energy Services, a subsidiary of the Louis Dreyfus Company.
- also an art collector and published poet and even translated several French poems to English.
- a billionaire (from inheritance and business—not from the poetry).
- Forbes Magazine, in their 1996 profile of him in their annual Billionaires Issue, noted that "his pride and joy is his daughter, Julia."
- Julia publicly announced his death when she received her 2016 Emmy Award. Many people with poor comprehension skills thought that actor Richard Dreyfuss had died, causing Richard Dreyfuss to announce that he was not dead.
- shown on the Second List in the "McGovern Campaign Contributors" section.
- listed elsewhere in the Watergate testimony as donating $1000 to the Muskie campaign.
- The NY Times death notice said, "He was pleased to learn that his name was included" on the List.
- No apparent association with Howard Stein on the Top 20 section of the Enemies List. Stein worked in a different subsidiary of the Louis Dreyfus Company.
- Unlike many of the "Enemies," he was not noticeably outspoken about the Vietnam War. Being French, he would not have been in a good position to be judgmental about that war since the French were the ones who started it in 1946.
- was a lead donor for the John Hope Franklin Chair in American Legal History at Duke Law in 2009. Big social justice cred there. See page 8 of https://law.duke.edu/news/pdf/lawmagwinter09.pdf .
- Late in life, he pledged $50 million to Harlem Children’s Zone, an anti-poverty group. The documentary, "Generosity of Eye," is about his decision.
- Also late in life, he supported anti-voter-suppression efforts.
- Father of comedian Julia Louis-Dreyfus. He was described as funny in the death notice, although the business press never revealed that (apparently genetic) side of him.
- Not a close relation—if any at all—to Richard Dreyfuss (who added the second "s" to his name himself) or Alfred Dreyfus of the Dreyfus Affair. Dreyfus is a very common name.
- Both Richard Dreyfuss and Julia Louis-Dreyfus were on the NRA "Enemies List" that caused a brief sensation in 2013. (William was not.) Richard's name was misspelled. Almost by definition, an enemies list suffers from poor attention to detail.
- Not to be confused with Robert Louis-Dreyfus, his cousin who was CEO of Adidas.
- Not to be confused with Louis Dreyfus (1874-1975) who later changed his name and was the son of Auguste Dreyfus, the Peruvian guano merchant. ("Peruvian guano" has a high giggle factor, but the Peruvian guano / Chinese coolie misadventure was historically more damaging and enduring than Nixon's Enemies List.)
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