Edgar Bronfman, the billionaire chairman of Seagram Company and former president of the World Jewish Council, died Saturday. He was 84. Bronfman, born in Montreal to Eastern European immigrants, took over the liquor company Seagram from his father, but expanded it with the acquisition of Tropicana and then into the oil business—and eventually becoming the largest shareholder in DuPont. Bronfman also served as the head of the World Jewish Council from 1981 until 2007, transforming the organization into one of the most powerful Jewish rights groups. But he also made headlines in the 1970s, when his son, Sam, was kidnapped and Bronfman paid more than $2 million in ransom, although the kidnappers were later convicted of lesser charges after claiming it was a hoax that Sam Bronfman was in on.
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