On this day in 1999, Greece was on top of the world… literally.
Constantine “Gus” Niarchos, the third and youngest son of late shipping tycoon Stavros Niarchos, became the first Greek to climb 29,029 feet (8,848 meters) to the summit of Mount Everest.
The billionaire was one of nine climbers who partnered with the British company OTT Expeditions for the journey.
Despite his grand accomplishment, Niarchos didn’t have much time to celebrate, as he died 17 days later at age 37 from cocaine overdose in his London flat. Autopsy tests later showed he had taken 25 times the amount normally found in cocaine-related deaths.
At the time of his death, Niarchos was one of the wealthiest men worldwide. He had become a billionaire after inheriting part of his father’s fortune after his death in 1996.
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