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Australia’s Smorgon matriarch dies

The matriarch of one of Australia’s wealthiest families has passed away in her hometown of Melbourne.

The matriarch of one of Australia’s wealthiest families has passed away in her hometown of Melbourne.

Loti Smorgon, 94, was married to the former head of Smorgon Consolidated Industries Victor Smorgon. He had transformed the family’s meat wholesaler, founded by his father and two uncles, into a billion dollar empire spanning food, manufacturing, paper and packaging, plastics, recycling and steel.

Together the couple headed the Victor and Loti Smorgon Foundation, which donated tens of millions of dollars to causes such as health and the arts. The couple had been married 73 years when Victor died, aged 96, in 2009.

The Smorgon family, which includes seven branches descended from the founding brothers, is now worth a reported AU$2.64 billion (€1.78 billion).

In 1995, they gradually began dismantling the family empire, culminating in the sale of Smorgon Steel in 2007 for AU$2.5 billion.

Loti is survived by her four children, 15 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren.

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