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Lois Sieff dies, aged 94

Mrs Sieff stopped the attempted assassination of her husband Joseph “Teddy” Sieff, vice-president of the British Zionist Federation, in 1973

    Lois Sieff in 1973, outside her St John's Wood home, after her husband had been wounded by a masked gunman. (Photo: Central Press/Getty Images)
    Lois Sieff in 1973, outside her St John's Wood home, after her husband had been wounded by a masked gunman. (Photo: Central Press/Getty Images)

    Lois Sieff, whose prompt action foiled an attempt by terrorists to assassinate her husband, a prominent Zionist, has died at the age of 94.

    Mrs Sieff was married to Joseph “Teddy” Sieff, who was chairman of Marks & Spencer from 1967 to 1972 and vice-president of the British Zionist Federation.

    In 1973, the notorious terrorist Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, known as “Carlos the Jackal”, a member of the Popular Front of the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), attempted to murder Mr Sieff at the couple’s home in north London.

    Mr Sieff was in his bathroom when Sanchez broke in and shot and wounded him before his gun jammed. Hearing the gunfire Mrs Sieff called the police from her bedroom, before the terrorist had a chance to fire again. Sanchez fled before police arrived.

    The attack was allegedly in retaliation of the Mossad’s assassination of Mohamed Boudia, a PFLP leader.

    Mrs Sieff was born in February 1923 and received an OBE in 1989 for services to the arts. She was director of the Royal National Theatre, the Academy Concerts Society, the Stephen Spender Trust and the Southbank Foundation.

    She is survived by her daughter and two grandchildren.

    Mr Sieff died in 1982.

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