A cousin of Huguette Clark and a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist trace the life of the reclusive American heiress against a backdrop of the now-infamous W. A. Clark family and include coverage of the internet sensation and elder-abuse investigation that occurred at the end of her life.
Empty Mansions is a rich mystery of wealth and loss, connecting the Gilded Age opulence of nineteenth-century America with a twenty-first-century battle over a $300 million inheritance. At its heart is a reclusive heiress named Huguette Clark, a woman so secretive that, at the time of her death at age 104, no new photograph of her had been seen in decades. Though she owned palatial homes in California, New York, and Connecticut, why had she lived for twenty years in a simple hospital room, despite being in excellent health? Why were her valuables being sold off? Was she in control of her fortune, or controlled by those managing her money? Huguette Clark was the daughter of self-made copper industrialist W. A. Clark, nearly as rich as Rockefeller in his day, a controversial senator, railroad builder, and founder of Las Vegas. She grew up in the largest house in New York City, a remarkable dwelling with 121 rooms for a family of four. She owned paintings by Degas and Renoir, a world-renowned Stradivarius violin, a vast collection of antique dolls. But wanting more than treasures, she devoted her wealth to buying gifts for friends and strangers alike, to quietly pursuing her own work as an artist, and to guarding the privacy she valued above all else. Empty Mansions reveals a complex portrait of the mysterious Huguette and her intimate circle. We meet her extravagant father, her publicity-shy mother, her star-crossed sister, her French boyfriend, her nurse who received more than $30 million in gifts, and the relatives fighting to inherit Huguette's copper fortune. Richly illustrated with more than seventy photographs, Empty Mansions is an enthralling story of an eccentric of the highest order, a last jewel of the Gilded Age who lived life on her own terms.
You'll never discover the secret if you stay safe at home. Like generations before them, cadets Adam and Dawn have always lived aboard the asteroid. But past generations have never experienced a threat like this: Robotic Alien Technology (R.A.T.) is attacking the spaceship--with the intent to destroy everyone on board. Dawn and Adam are two of the best new Coupler pilots, but they're also famous for their clashes. When a family crisis and a R.A.T. sighting coincide, Dawn has to call on all her inner resources to stay focused on the mission. A deep space discovery lies ahead, threatening to forever alter the ship's future--and every life on it.
From the founders of the international health-care behemoth Johnson & Johnson in the late 1800s to the contemporary Johnsons of today, such as billionaire New York Jets owner Robert Wood "Woody" Johnson IV, all is revealed in this scrupulously researched, unauthorized biography by New York Times bestselling author Jerry Oppenheimer. Often compared to the Kennedy clan because of the tragedies and scandals that had befallen both wealthy and powerful families, Crazy Rich, based on scores of exclusive, candid, on-the-record interviews, reveals how the dynasty's vast fortune was both intoxicating and toxic through the generations of a family that gave the world Band-Aids and Baby Oil. At the same time, they've been termed perhaps the most dysfunctional family in the fortune 500. Oppenheimer is the author of biographies of the Kennedys, the Clintons, the Hiltons and Martha Stewart, among other American icons.
Vanderbilt: the very name signifies wealth. The family patriarch, "the Commodore," built up a fortune that made him the world's richest man by 1877. Yet, less than fifty years after the Commodore's death, one of his direct descendants died penniless, and no Vanderbilt was counted among the world's richest people. Fortune's Children tells the dramatic story of all the amazingly colorful spenders who dissipated such a vast inheritance.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more. Pat Conroy’s great success as a writer has always been intimately linked with the exploration of his family history. As the oldest of seven children who were dragged from military base to military base across the South, Pat bore witness to the often cruel and violent behavior of his father, Marine Corps fighter pilot Donald Patrick Conroy. While the publication of The Great Santini brought Pat much acclaim, the rift it caused brought even more attention, fracturing an already battered family. But as Pat tenderly chronicles here, even the oldest of wounds can heal. In the final years of Don Conroy’s life, the Santini unexpectedly refocused his ire to defend his son’s honor. The Death of Santini is a heart-wrenching act of reckoning whose ultimate conclusion is that love can soften even the meanest of men, lending significance to the oft-quoted line from Pat’s novel The Prince of Tides: “In families there are no crimes beyond forgiveness.” Praise for The Death of Santini “A brilliant storyteller, a master of sarcasm, and a hallucinatory stylist whose obsession with the impress of the past on the present binds him to Southern literary tradition.”—The Boston Globe “A painful, lyrical, addictive read that [Pat Conroy’s] fans won’t want to miss.”—People “Conroy’s conviction pulls you fleetly through the book, as does the potency of his bond with his family, no matter their sins.”—The New York Times Book Review “Vital, large-hearted and often raucously funny.”—The Washington Post “Conroy writes athletically and beautifully, slicing through painful memories like a point guard splitting the defense.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune From the Trade Paperback edition.
A New York Times bestseller with an "engaging narrative and array of detail” (The Wall Street Journal), the “intimate and sweeping” (Raleigh News & Observer) untold, true story behind the Biltmore Estate—the largest, grandest private residence in North America, which has seen more than 120 years of history pass by its front door. The story of Biltmore spans World Wars, the Jazz Age, the Depression, and generations of the famous Vanderbilt family, and features a captivating cast of real-life characters including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, Teddy Roosevelt, John Singer Sargent, James Whistler, Henry James, and Edith Wharton. Orphaned at a young age, Edith Stuyvesant Dresser claimed lineage from one of New York’s best known families. She grew up in Newport and Paris, and her engagement and marriage to George Vanderbilt was one of the most watched events of Gilded Age society. But none of this prepared her to be mistress of Biltmore House. Before their marriage, the wealthy and bookish Vanderbilt had dedicated his life to creating a spectacular European-style estate on 125,000 acres of North Carolina wilderness. He summoned the famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to tame the grounds, collaborated with celebrated architect Richard Morris Hunt to build a 175,000-square-foot chateau, filled it with priceless art and antiques, and erected a charming village beyond the gates. Newlywed Edith was now mistress of an estate nearly three times the size of Washington, DC and benefactress of the village and surrounding rural area. When fortunes shifted and changing times threatened her family, her home, and her community, it was up to Edith to save Biltmore—and secure the future of the region and her husband’s legacy. This is the fascinating, “soaring and gorgeous” (Karen Abbott) story of how the largest house in America flourished, faltered, and ultimately endured to this day.
By the age of nineteen, Tyler loses both his mother and father, inherits his family home, and becomes the owner and operator of the family grocery store that he turns into a thriving business. When the business is threatened by the construction of a shopping center along his small town’s only highway, Tyler must take matters into his own hands to preserve what he and his family have built. In an attempt to buy up the surrounding land with the help of the townspeople, Tyler befriends the town “witch,” Mary, who lives in just two rooms of a large, empty mansion on the outskirts of town. When he acquires the mansion under unusual circumstances, he becomes the youngest, richest, and most eligible bachelor in town. But just when it seems he has everything, Tyler, alone and coping with the loss of both his parents and Mary, decides to leave town in search of something greater: true love. Empty Mansion, Empty Heart is a heartwarming coming-of-age story about the influence of others and the power of true love and friendship.
In this marvelous anecdotal history, Justin Kaplan––Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of Mark Twain––vividly brings to life a glittering, bygone age. Endowed with the largest private fortunes of their day, cousins John Jacob Astor IV and William Waldorf Astor vied for primacy in New York society, producing the grandest hotels ever seen in a marriage of ostentation and efficiency that transformed American social behavior. Kaplan exposes it all in exquisite detail, taking readers from the 1890s to the Roaring Twenties in a combination of biography, history, architectural appreciation, and pure reading pleasure