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Arne Naess, a 66-year-old Norwegian shipping tycoon famed for scaling Mt. Everest, died in a mountain climbing accident in South Africa Jan. 13.
Naess, whose wealth was estimated at $1.8 billion, was the nephew of Erling Naess, a bulk shipping magnate.
"God must have been a shipowner," Erling Naess once said. "He placed the raw materials far from where they were needed and covered two thirds of the earth with water."
Born Arne Raab in 1937, he changed his name to Naess after his parents divorced. He was named for his uncle Arne, a leader of the Norwegian resistance during World War II, mountain climber, philosopher and ecologist.
Naess began his maritime career working for his uncle Erling in London and New York and opened his own business in 1968, investing in oil and shipping. He had left the shipping business by the late 1990s, according to various reports.
He is best known, however, as the leader of a 1985 expedition to the summit of Mt. Everest and for his 1987 marriage to singer Diana Ross, who he divorced in 1999.
He fell to his death while climbing in South Africa''s Groot Drakenstein mountains.