Archive for August 1st, 2011


When Berthe Gardes informed Paul that she was pregnant with his child, he was torn but he could do little…not only was he one year younger than Berthe but they were from different social classes…she worked as a seamstress in his mother’s laundry; they were part of the middle class….Paul was an engineer and traveling salesman, was sensitive to his social status…that baby, of course, would one day become the immortal Carlos Gardel one of the most famous singers in history and a very wealthy man…many years later, Paul now widowed, traveled to Buenos Aires to offer his name by marrying Berthe….the story goes that Berthe asked Gardel his opinion and he responded, “not only do I not need him, but I don’t even want to see him”


Paul Lassarre was born in Toulouse, France…his father, or Gardel’s grandfather was a cartmaker; his wife, Gardel’s grandmother owned a laundry business…at the laundry worked a young girl Berthe Gardes whose father Vital Gardes, a simple merchant, had died suddenly leaving behind an impoverished family…she would have a love affair with Paul and become pregnant with his child, the future legend Carlos Gardel…there is some evidence that Paul financed Berthe’s trip to Buenos Aires to help here escape the difficult social situation she found herself in…Paul married Ann Marie Broyer on September 29, 1898 and had two children; Ann Marie Broyer would pass away twenty years later…when Berthe Gardes refused his offer of marriage, he went back to Toulouse where he apparently father two other children with a second wife Clementine Amiel…one of those daughters Fanny Lasserre, Gardel’s half-sister, would become a historian and curator of Carlos Gardel memorabilia…Paul Lasserre passed away on November 20, 1921 from hepatitis; he was fifty-four years old…that young laundry girl whom he rejected because she came from a poor family would live to the age of 78…she was to say of her beloved son Carlos Gardel, “for me, my son has not died, I still wait for him as always, it seems to me that I still see him arrive to my house”