Tuesday, August 24, 2010

JP Morgan

Today's picture features Mr. JP Morgan, one of the richest men of the early 1900's. He was a banker who made his fortune in high finance, arranging corporate mergers and take overs. In this photo, he appears to be whacking someone with his cane.


  1. Are the ultra-rich more happy? Well, there’s no question that not having to worry about where your next meal is coming from or whether you can afford your mortgage payment improves one’s quality of life.

    But if we look at the lives of some of the more famous personalities of the Gilded Age, they certainly had their share of troubles. Cornelius Vanderbilt II, who built The Breakers in Newport, had four “lost” sons. Two (William and Alfred) died young, one(Cornelius III) was disowned, and Reggie was a drunk.

    Cornelius himself only lived to the age of 55. He build The Breakers in 1895, had a stroke in 1896, and died in 1899 at the age of only 55.

    His granddaughter Gloria Vanderbilt’s life was a mess (Reggie’s daughter). Her father died from cirrhosis of the liver when she was about two years old; she was the focus of a sensational custody battle and taken away from her mother; and she was married four times. She had four sons - two with her second husband, the conductor Leopold Stokowski, and two with her fourth husband, Wyatt Cooper. Her oldest son with Cooper, Carter Cooper, committed suicide in 1988 by jumping out the window of the family’s apartment in Manhattan. He was Anderson Cooper’s brother. Of course, she DID pioneer designer jeans!!

    The mansion “Rosecliff” in Newport was built by Hermann and Teresa Oelrichs in 1899. Hermann was a shipping magnate and multimillionaire. But he too, died at the age of 55 (actually he was on a steamship heading home).

    Doris Duke, the tobacco heiress led an unsettled and troubled life. She was the only child of the tobacco magnate James Buchanan Duke and his second wife. Her father called her the “million dollar baby” when she was born in 1912. When James was on his deathbed (in 1925 when Doris was only 13), he told her to “trust no-one.”

    She was married twice and her first marriage produced a baby girl (Arden) who only lived for one day. Her second marriage (to Dominican playboy Porfirio Rubirosa who also eventually married another famous heiress, Barbara Woolworth Hutton) also ended in divorce. Doris had numerous affairs and lived for many years in Hawaii. She had a liaison with a famous Hawaiian surfing champion and Olympic swimmer, which supposedly produced an interracial child raised in secret.

    In October, 1966, Doris accidentally killed her interior decorator/companion Edueardo Tirella by hitting him with her car and crushing him against the iron gates to her family’s Newport Mansion, “Rough Point”.

    Doris spent her later years in isolation;, and when she died, it was discovered that her butler and another “companion” had been named executors of her will. Doris had become involved in religions such as Hare Krishna and had adopted a girl whom she believed was the reincarnation of her dead daughter, Arden. As you can imagine, huge legal battles over her fortune ensued for years, and the circumstances of her death were questionable. She died in 1993 at the age of 80 and left over $1 billion to charities.

  2. Part 2:

    Barbara Woolworth Hutton, the most famous “poor little rich girl,” was the granddaughter of F. W. Woolworth on her mother’s side and the daughter of Franklyn Hutton, one of the co-founders of the E. F. Hutton brokerage firm. Her mother, Edna Woolworth Hutton, committed suicide when Barbara was only five years old - and she discovered her mother’s body. After that, she was raised by several relatives and a governess.

    Poor Barbara led a troubled life, and was married SEVEN times. Her husbands included Cary Grant, and South American playboy Porfiro Rubirosa (who had also been married to Doris Duke). Several of Barbara’s husbands were self-proclaimed (but penniless) European “royalty,” who took advantage of her money and were abusive to her. She had one son, Lance Reventlow, who died in a plane crash in 1972 at the age of only 36. After that, Barbara more less gave up. She died at the age of 66 in 1979, with all of her fortune gone, as it had been squandered by her gigolo husbands.

    And of course, let’s not forget poor Martha “Sunny” Von Bulow, the unfortunate owner of Clarendon Court in Newport.

    She, too was the daughter of an industrial baron from the Gilded Age - George Crawford, a utilities magnate, who was 71 at the time of her birth in 1932. Her mother Annie was George’s second wife and the daughter of the founder of the International Shoe Company. George died when Sunny was only four years old, and her mother remarried.

    Sunny was first married to an Austrian Prince and had two children. Then she tangled with Claus Von Bulow, (who had numerous extramarital affairs) was twice tried for trying to kill her with insulin injections, which supposedly placed her in the coma from which she never emerged. At the first trial Claus was convicted, but then he hired the famous defense lawyer Alan Dershowitz, and he got it overturned. as it was well known that Sunny was an alcoholic and prescription drug abuser.

    Sunny remained in a coma for 28 years until she passed away in New York 2008 at the age of 76. Several charitable foundations have been established in her name.

    So . . . . money might buy security, but certainly doesn’t buy happiness, does it?

  3. JP didn't like pictures of his rosacea-ridden schnozzloa taken, and I believe in this pic he was whacking out at the paparazzi who had the temerity to take it.

  4. If we had more men like JP Morgan nowadays, the world would be a better place.

  5. some rich people are pushy little @#^%$# arent they.

  6. Nice rundown on the miserable rich, SmartGirl. I would like to think our nuvo-uber-rich learned fom history and mended their ways, but I doubt it.

  7. Maybelline:

    You're right - I meant to include her at the end of my post, but it was too long.

    I think Hugette is the last living individual from that era. She is supposedly 104 years old and living in isolation in a NYC hospital. The only people who have access to her are her lawyer and accountant, one of which is a registered sex offender (or something along those lines).

    She owns several homes and a Manhattan penthouse that are always kept in immaculate condition, but she hasn't been to any of them in years.

    She lived most of her life in isolation and was married only briefly. I don't think any photos have been taken of her in years.

  8. I think he's saying "You landed on Boardwalk and my hotel means you owe me $1250. Don't expect the Community Chest to bail you out!"

  9. Finances, yes, but I had no idea that J. P. Morgan was so involved in the railroads!

  10. Al:

    Thanks. I agree.

  11. Boardwalk?! hahehaeh
    Funny, Downtown Indy!
    You made coffee come out of my nose.
    I dont know why that tickled me so much, but it did.
    and thank you.


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