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Gilbert Hartmann LaPiere was a World War II veteran and former oil businessman who played a significant role in the lives of his stepdaughters, including the famous singer Cher. Born on June 29, 1923, in Irvington, New Jersey, Gilbert pursued a career in the oil industry after completing his military service. He worked at City Service Oil Co. in Oklahoma and later at Chase Bank in New York, where he gained valuable experience and made lasting contributions to the field.

In 1962, Gilbert married Arkansas-born actress Georgia Holt, who had two daughters from a previous marriage. As a devoted stepfather, he provided love, care, and support for the girls, making a significant impact on their lives. They took on his last name, and even after divorcing their mother, Cher continued to use the surname LaPiere in her professional career.

Gilbert’s generosity and dedication to his stepdaughters, as well as his contributions to the oil industry, left a lasting impression on those who knew him. His legacy continues to be celebrated through the accomplishments of his stepdaughters and the enduring memory of his kind-hearted nature.


Early Life and WWII Service

Gilbert Hartmann LaPiere spent his early years in New Jersey, born in Irvington on June 29, 1923, to parents Tillie and Albert LaPiere. He attended school in Newark, where he was an active student, participating in various athletic activities and earning the prestigious Eagle Scout rank during his grade school years.

As World War II broke out, Gilbert put his college education on hold to serve his country. He enlisted in the military and became a pilot, embarking on a brave journey that saw him complete thirty-five missions. One particularly harrowing mission involved ejecting himself from his ocean-bound aircraft after a bombing run. Despite the time spent serving in the war, Gilbert resumed his studies after the conflict and successfully graduated from college.

His experiences during World War II not only demonstrated his courage and dedication to his country but also shaped the resilient and determined individual he would become in his later years. Gilbert’s service left a profound impact on his life, making him a well-respected and revered figure among those who knew him.

Career and Marriage to Georgia Holt

Following his graduation and military service, Gilbert Hartmann LaPiere pursued a career in the oil industry. He began working at City Service Oil Co. in Oklahoma, where he gained valuable experience and knowledge in the field. Later, he secured a position at Chase Bank in New York, where he continued to learn about the oil business and furthered his professional development.

In 1962, Gilbert’s personal life took a significant turn when he married Arkansas-born actress Georgia Holt. Georgia had been married previously and had two daughters, Cher and Georganne, from her prior relationships. Gilbert embraced his role as a stepfather and provided love, care, and support for his stepdaughters, who took on his last name.

Despite their love and commitment, Gilbert and Georgia’s marriage encountered challenges, leading to their divorce in the mid-60s. However, their connection endured, and they decided to give their relationship another chance by remarrying in the late 90s. Unfortunately, their second attempt at marriage also ended in divorce.

Through his marriage to Georgia Holt and his devotion to his stepdaughters, Gilbert’s life took on new dimensions, intertwining with the world of entertainment and leaving an indelible mark on the lives of his family members.

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Devoted Stepfather to Cher

Gilbert Hartmann LaPiere’s devotion to his stepdaughters, particularly Cher, was a defining aspect of his life. Upon marrying Georgia Holt, Gilbert wholeheartedly embraced his role as a stepfather, providing love, care, and support to Cher and her sister Georganne. He played a significant part in their upbringing and development, treating them as if they were his own children.

Gilbert’s impact on Cher’s life extended beyond emotional support. Recognizing the strained relationship between Cher and her biological father, he took it upon himself to enroll her in a private school to ensure she received the best education possible. This decision played a crucial role in shaping Cher’s future and helping her become the successful artist she is today.

Even after his divorce from Georgia, Gilbert maintained a close bond with his stepdaughters. Cher, in particular, continued to carry his last name, LaPiere, throughout her professional career, reflecting the deep connection and gratitude she felt for her devoted stepfather. The love and care Gilbert provided as a stepfather left a lasting impression on Cher’s life, showcasing his nurturing and compassionate nature.

Life After Divorce from Georgia Holt

Following his first divorce from Georgia Holt, Gilbert Hartmann LaPiere moved on with his life, both personally and professionally. He married Beverly Lorraine Foster LaPiere, and their union proved to be a strong one, lasting an impressive thirty-four years. Gilbert continued to work in the oil industry, contributing to its development and providing opportunities for other business people along the way.

During his time with Beverly, Gilbert enjoyed leisure activities such as playing golf and cruising along the Atlantic. The couple also built strong friendships with people they met at their mountain home in North Carolina, creating a rich social network that added to the quality of their lives together.

In 1997, Beverly sadly passed away, and at the age of 74, Gilbert remarried Georgia Holt, his first wife. Unfortunately, their second attempt at marriage also ended in divorce. His daughter, Verna Bullock, tragically died due to COVID-19.

Throughout these years, Gilbert experienced the joys and challenges of love, family, and friendship. His resilience and adaptability in the face of life’s changes exemplify his enduring spirit and capacity for growth.


Gilbert Hartmann LaPiere’s legacy is marked by his courage as a World War II pilot, his contributions to the oil industry, and his devotion to his stepdaughters. He passed away in 2012, leaving behind a life rich in experiences and meaningful connections.

His impact on the lives of his stepdaughters, particularly Cher, remains significant. Cher’s continued use of the LaPiere name in her professional career is a testament to the profound influence Gilbert had on her life. His unwavering love, care, and support played a crucial role in shaping her development and success as an artist.

In addition to his family life, Gilbert’s professional accomplishments in the oil industry and his generous nature left a lasting impression on those who knew him. His dedication to providing opportunities for others and his commitment to his work are remembered with admiration and respect.

Gilbert’s life, marked by bravery, resilience, and love, is celebrated by many, and his memory continues to inspire those who knew him. The legacy he leaves behind, both in his personal relationships and his professional contributions, is a testament to the remarkable life he lived.