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Neville Ness Wadia (22 August 1911 – 31 July 1996) was an Indian businessman, philanthropist and a member of the Wadia family, an old Parsi family which, by the 1840s, was one of the leading forces in the Indian shipbuilding industry, having built over a hundred warships for the British and having established trading networks around the world. In addition to his successful business career, Wadia is particularly known for being the former son-in-law of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan.

Neville Wadia
Neville Ness Wadia

(1911-08-22)22 August 1911
Died31 July 1996(1996-07-31) (aged 84)
Spouse(s)Dina Wadia (m. 1938–1943; divorce)
ChildrenNusli Wadia
RelativesSee Wadia family

Life and careerEdit

Born in Liverpool, Neville Wadia was educated at Malvern College and Trinity College, Cambridge.[1] He married Dina, the only child of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, and his wife Rattanbai Petit, in 1938. The wedding was largely criticized due to being an inter-faith marriage, Dina belonged to a Muslim faith, and Wadia was a Parsi. The couple had two children, a son, Nusli Wadia, and a daughter, Diana Wadia. However, the marriage did not last long and the couple divorced in 1943.

Although he was born a Parsi, his father renounced the Zoroastrian faith and converted to Christianity. Wadia converted from Christianity to Zoroastrianism later in life.[1]

During the late 19th century, his father, Ness Wadia, played an important role in turning the city of Bombay into one of the world's largest cotton trading centres.[1] In 1952, Neville Wadia succeeded his father as chairman of Bombay Dyeing, and under his leadership the company became one of India's most successful and quality-conscious textile concerns. He was also heavily involved in the real estate business in Mumbai, and he contributed to building new wings and upgrading several hospitals in Bombay founded by his family. He established a business school in Pune and a host of charitable trusts for Parsees. After his retirement as chairman of Bombay Dyeing in 1977, he was succeeded by his son, Nusli Wadia. Neville Wadia died in Mumbai three weeks before his 85th birthday.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Obituary - The Independent 6 August 1996. Retrieved 10 January 2010


  • Hinnells, John R. (2005) The Zoroastrian Diaspora: Religion and Migration. Oxford University Press,. ISBN 0-19-826759-2