Calouste Gulbenkian

Calouste Gulbenkian

Calouste Gulbenkian (23 March 1869 – 20 July 1955), nickname “Mr Five Per Cent”- Famous businessman and philanthropist.

He was born on 23 March 1869 in Scutari Constantinople (Istanbul, Ottoman Empire).

Gulbenkian’s family is believed to be descendants of the Armenian noble family of Rshtunis.


Calouste Gulbenkian received his early education at Aramyan-Uncuyan Armenian school (Constantinople ). He then attended the Lycée Saint-Joseph French school and continued his studies at Robert College (Constantinople ). In 1884 Calouste Gulbenkian moved to Marseilles at the age of 15 to perfect his French at a high school there. Immediately afterwards his father sent him to be educated at King’s College London, where he studied petroleum engineering. He was a brilliant student and graduated in 1887 at the age of 18 with a first-class degree in engineering and applied sciences. In 1902 he became a British citizen


By the end of his life Calouste Gulbenkian had become one of the world’s wealthiest people and his art acquisitions one of the greatest private collections.

The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation based in Portugal, was created in 1956 by his bequest and continues to promote arts, charity, education, and science throughout the world.

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