Salvador J. Assael, a legend in the pearl business, died April
1 after a brief illness. He was 89.
Assael’s family fled Italy in 1938, first moving to Paris,
then to Portugal, and eventually to Cuba. A World War II veteran, Assael participated
in the famed Battle of the Bulge, and won a Purple Heart from the U.S.
In 1972, he took over the family pearl business, and founded
Assael International, which became a leading force in the pearl market. In 1973,
he began producing Tahitian Black pearls. In June 1998, he became a
Chevalier of the Order of Tahiti Nui, and was a founding member of the South
Sea Pearl Consortium.
Assael is survived by his wife, Christina Lang Assael, and
children, Sophia, Robert, and Arlette.
An online guest book can be seen here.
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