Money never made up for Christina Onassis' rootless childhood or the loss of the father she idolized. It could not ease the pain after three members of her family died within two years, or save any of her four marriages.
"The sudden death of Christina Onassis closes a circle that has all the makings of a Greek tragedy," the daily newspaper Eleftherotypia said in an obituary. It spoke of the "tragic fate" of the Onassis family, which it described as "a dynasty of death."Christina was 37 when she died on Saturday visiting friends in Buenos Aires. Friends and relatives said she was happy. Newspapers suggested she had a romantic interest in the brother of her hostess.
An autopsy report gave the cause of death as acute pulmonary edema, accumulation of fluid in the lungs. Family members discounted the possibility of suicide.
"A happy person could never commit suicide, and Christina was content and very happy," said Mary Onassis, an aunt. "Christina was in the best part of her life."
Mario Falak, president of the Alvear Palace Hotel in Buenos Aires, said: "She reserved a suite through Dec. 4. She had so much baggage our employees had to make two trips to the airport."
Ioannis Georgakis, vice-president of the Alexander Onassis Public Benefit foundation, dismissed suicide reports that arose when medicine bottles were found on Christina's bedside table.
"She had no health problems and it just seems her heart was too tired to overcome the attack," he said.
Greek newspapers quoted friends as saying the bottles probably contained diet pills. Christina experienced wild swings in weight throughout her life, often caused by alternating crash diets and food binges.
She was born Dec. 11, 1950, in New York City and spent her childhood shuttling from there to London, Paris, Monaco, Switzerland and Greece.
The three members of her immediate family died in only two years. Christina's brother Alexander was killed in a plane crash in January 1973, her mother Athena died of a heart attack in October 1974 and her father Aristotle died of bronchial pneumonia in March 1975.
"She could never escape the consequences of a rootless upbringing," according to a "Aristotle Onassis," a 1977 biography of the Greek tycoon. "Never an eager student, she learned dancing under Margot Fonteyn and was educated at a series of expensive finishing schools. She emerged a good linguist but with no sense of place."
Its authors, five investigative reporters on the staff of London Sunday Times, described Christina's relationship with her father as "complex and self-contradictory."
Onassis women "had to be satisfactory vehicles for self-promotion and adoring females; and they had to simultaneously accept his engulfing protectiveness and withstand his massive ego," the biographers wrote.
Christina was 25 when her father died, and the event had an enormous emotional impact. News reports said she spent the last two weeks by his bedside and had to be sedated for more than two days after his death.
The biographers quote her as remarking that she found relationships with men difficult "because, how can I fall in love when I have a father like mine?"
Her love life was as turbulent as her father's.
She married Joseph Bolker, a Los Angeles real estate broker, in 1971 and they were divorced nine months later. The second marriage, to Greek shipping heir Alexandros Andreadis, lasted only until 1976.
Husband No. 3, Soviet shipping executive Sergei Kauzov, came on the scene in 1978 and departed two years later.
Last was Theirry Roussel, a French pharmaceutical heir, in 1984. Divorce proceedings followed eight months later. They have a daughter, Athena, now 3.
Aristotle Onassis married Athena Livanos, daughter of a wealthy Greek shipowner, in 1946 and she bore him two children, Alexander in 1948 and Christina.
They separated in 1960 after his highly publicized affair with opera star Maria Callas.
He married Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy in 1968, and Athena later became the wife of his business rival, shipowner Stavros Niarchos, who was married to Athena's sister, Eugenia, until her death in 1970.
Reports at the time indicated Christina and her father's new wife did not get along, and the relationship worsened after Aristotle Onassis died.
In April 1975, Christina ordered the personal belongings of Jacqueline Onassis removed from Skorpios, the Ionian Sea island the family had owned since 1963.
"The hate that developed between Christina and Jackie Onassis determined her future," the newspaper Eleftherotypia said in its obituary.
Christina plunged into her father's business.
"For two years she sat behind a desk learning every phase" of it, Apostolos Zambelas, an aide, said in 1983.
He said her business training had begun soon after Alexander was killed.
"Alexander was being groomed as the natural heir, something Christina sort of resented," Zambelas said. "Eventually she got more than she bargained for."
Her brother's death was a turning point in her life.
Eleftherotypia said in its obituary: "They shared the same distress over Jackie - the widow, as she called her - who monopolized their father's attention."
Ta Nea, another Athens paper, said: "Alexander's death left her inconsolable. It was the moment she understood that her apathy was over and that she would have to run the fortune."
Georgakis, the Onassis Foundation executive, said a board of trustess will manage the fortune until Athena becomes of age.