Gilbert Chagoury

Gilbert Ramez Chagoury (born 1946) is a Nigerian billionaire businessman,[1] diplomat and philanthropist, who lives in Paris, France. He has been implicated in election fraud and election interference in the United States for contributing money to Congressional re-election campaigns despite American laws that prohibit foreign nationals from contributing to U.S. elections.[2]

Gilbert R. Chagoury
Born (1946-01-08) January 8, 1946 (age 76)
Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria
EducationCollege des Frères Chretiens
SpouseRose-Marie (née Chamchoum) Chagoury
ChildrenAnne-Marie, Gilbert Antoine, Ramez, Christopher
RelativesRonald Chagoury (brother)

Jack Chagoury (brother) Gilberte Chidiac (sister) Rico Chagoury (brother)

Marcel Solomon (sister)

Early lifeEdit

Gilbert Chagoury is a Lebanese Nigerian who was born to Lebanese immigrant parents in Lagos, Nigeria.[3] He studied at the Collège des Frères Chrétiens in Lebanon before returning to Nigeria.


In 1971, he co-founded the Chagoury Group with his younger brother Ronald Chagoury,[4][5] an industrial conglomerate with interests in construction, real estate and property development, flour mills, water bottling and purification, glass manufacturing, insurance, hotels, furniture manufacturing, telecommunications, IT, catering and international financing.[6][failed verification] Gilbert and Ronald Chagoury founded C & C Construction in the late 1970s, which was the forerunner of Hitech and ITB (these now form the Construction Division of the Chagoury group of Companies).[7]

Through their ownership of the Chagoury Group, Gilbert Chagoury and his family have an estimated wealth of $4.2 billion.[1]

Diplomacy and politicsEdit

He served as an Ambassador and Adviser to governments in Africa and the Americas. He has also served as Ambassador to the Vatican for St. Lucia, economic adviser to President Mathieu Kérékou of Benin, and ambassador to UNESCO.[8]

Chagoury was a close associate of Nigerian dictator, General Sani Abacha, who helped his business interests in the country. After Abacha died in 1998, Chagoury returned an estimated $300 million to the Nigerian government to secure his indemnity from possible criminal charges.[3]

Chagoury has been a supporter of Bill and Hillary Clinton since the 1990s. He has funded their election campaigns and is a major donor to the Clinton Foundation.[3][9]

In 2010, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security apologized to Chagoury after detaining him at Teterboro Airport for over four hours because of inclusion on a no-fly list.[10]

In 2018, the Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire and two of his associates agreed to resolve a federal investigation that they conspired to violate federal election laws by scheming to make illegal campaign contributions to U.S. presidential and congressional candidates, including Nebraska representative Jeff Fortenberry.[11] Fortenberry was eventually convicted of lying to federal officials about these contributions and announced his resignation effective March 31, 2022.[12]


He is a key benefactor for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, and his private contributions have improved health care and public infrastructure of Miziara, Northern Lebanon, home to both his and his wife's family.[13] He serves on the board of the Lebanese American University where he provided a donation of $10 million to fund the Gilbert and Rose-Marie Chagoury School of Medicine and $3.5 million for the construction of the Alice Ramez Chagoury School of Nursing.[14]

The Louvre's Gilbert et Rose Marie Chagoury Gallery is named for them, housing a permanent exhibit including French works donated by the Chagourys.[15] He has donated in excess of $340,000 for the renovations of the Church of Our Lady of Lebanon in Paris, France.[16] He has also donated US$10,000 to the Beverly Hills 9/11 Memorial Garden in Beverly Hills, California.[17]

Personal lifeEdit

He has been married since 1969 to Rose Marie Chamchoum. They have four children.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b "The Richest People In Africa 2013". Ventures Africa. October 9, 2013. Retrieved January 15, 2015.
  2. ^ "Lebanese-Nigerian Billionaire and Two Associates Resolve Federal Probe into Alleged Violations of Campaign Finance Laws". US Department of Justice. Retrieved June 28, 2022.
  3. ^ a b c Ermshwiller, John R. (December 20, 2008). "Bill Clinton's Complicated World: Donor to Former President's Foundation Had Business Ties to Nigerian Dictator". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 14, 2015.
  4. ^ Africa South of the Sahara. Taylor & Francis, The University of Michigan. 2007. p. 103. ISBN 9781857434217. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  5. ^ "How the private sector is slowly but surely rebuilding Nigeria". Martz publishing. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  6. ^ Chagoury Group
  7. ^ Chagoury Construction intro
  8. ^ Vatican
  9. ^ "Newly released Clinton emails shed light on relationship between State Dept. And Clinton Foundation | CNN Politics". CNN. 10 August 2016.
  10. ^ "US Apologizes to Billionaire Added to Terror No-fly List". ABC News. Retrieved 25 March 2022.
  11. ^ "Lebanese-Nigerian Billionaire and Two Associates Resolve Federal Probe into Alleged Violations of Campaign Finance Laws". 31 March 2021.
  12. ^ Solender, Andrew. "Rep. Jeff Fortenberry resigns after conviction". Axios. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
  13. ^ St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
  14. ^ "Alice Ramez Chagoury School of Nursing". Archived from the original on 2010-06-29. Retrieved 2010-09-27.
  15. ^ "The Louvre" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-15. Retrieved 2010-09-27.
  16. ^ Notre Dame du Liban
  17. ^ "Beverly Hills 9/11 Memorial Garden". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2013-09-11.

External linksEdit