Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Harry Oppenheimer

Harry Openheimer (28 October 1908 - 19 August 2000), was a prominent South African businessman. He was born in Kimberley, the original centre for diamond mining in South Africa, and lived most of his life in Johannesburg. After completing his primary schooling in Johannesburg, he attended Charterhouse school in England, before going on to study at Christ Church College, Oxford University, graduating in 1931 in philosophy, politics and economics.

Harry Oppenheimer was the chairman of Anglo American Corporation for a quarter of a century and chairman of De Beers Consolidated Mines for 27 years until he retired from those positions in 1982 and 1984 respectively. He also spent some time as the Member of Parliament for Kimberley (1948 to 1957) and became the opposition spokesman on economics, finance and constitutional affairs. His opposition to apartheid was well known as were his philanthropy and business acumen. In the 1970s and 1980s, he financed the anti-apartheid Progressive Federal Party, now known as the Democratic Party (South Africa). Some people believe that he could have done more to end the regime, but within his sphere of influence he probably did more than most of his fellow-businessmen.

Useful link

Read more about his life and achievements at Harry Oppenheimer