Hetty Green: Witch of Wall Street [NOOK Book]

Overview

Biographical profile of Hetty Green, considered by most historians to have been the richest American woman of all time. Dubbed "America's First Female Tycoon," or the "Witch of Wall Street," Green deservedly earned a place in the pantheon of American titans. Unfortunately, she is better known for her eccentricities and miserly ways-and she was as tightfisted as a bare-knuckled boxer-than for her unprecedented accomplishments in what was an exclusively male domain: finance. Where William Vanderbilt doubled his ...
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Hetty Green: Witch of Wall Street

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Overview

Biographical profile of Hetty Green, considered by most historians to have been the richest American woman of all time. Dubbed "America's First Female Tycoon," or the "Witch of Wall Street," Green deservedly earned a place in the pantheon of American titans. Unfortunately, she is better known for her eccentricities and miserly ways-and she was as tightfisted as a bare-knuckled boxer-than for her unprecedented accomplishments in what was an exclusively male domain: finance. Where William Vanderbilt doubled his father's fortune in 10 years, Hetty astutely invested her inheritance and saw it grow more than twenty-fold in the half century following her father'is death. Award-winning author and syndicated columnist Daniel Alef, who has written the biographical profiles of more than 300 of America's greatest tycoons, tells the story of Hetty Green's remarkable, at times bizarre, but always moving life. [1,299-word Titans of Fortune article]
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608041466
  • Publisher: Titans of Fortune Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/21/2009
  • Series: Titans of Fortune
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 499,107
  • File size: 381 KB

Meet the Author

Daniel Alef has written many articles, one law book, one historical anthology, Centennial Stories, and authored the award-winning historical novel, Pale Truth (MaxIt Publishing, 2000). Foreword Magazine named Pale Truth book of the year for general fiction in 2001 and the novel received many outstanding reviews including ones from Publishers Weekly and the American Library Association's Booklist. A sequel to Pale Truth, currently entitled Measured Swords, has just been completed. Titans of Fortune, biographical profiles of America's great moguls, men and women who had a profound impact on America and the World, began in April 2003. He is also a contributor to the recently released reference work: Gender and Women's Leadership pubished by Sage Publishing. Mr. Alef's experience as a lawyer, CEO of a public company, a rancher, and author, combined with his academic background-UCLA (B.S.), UCLA Law School (J.D.), the London School of Economics and Political Science (LL.M.), and Cambridge University (post-graduate studies)-gave him the perception to analyze the powerful titans and their achievements, and to place their lives and triumphs in a larger perspective. The Titans of Fortune series of articles appeared in several newspapers including the Lee Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, and became a weekly column in the Santa Barbara News Press. Mr. Alef also had a one-hour weekly radio show based on the Titans of Fortune column. He has appeared as a guest speaker and lecturer at various university, Rotary, and Kiwanis clubs, public libraries including San Francisco and Chicago, cruise ships, and at numerous historical societies across the nation. Mr. Alef serves on the Board of Trustees of the Santa Barbara Historical Museum and on the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Activities League. He is a black belt in judo and one of the head instructors of the University of California at Santa Barbara Judo Club. He currently lives with his family in Santa Barbara.
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Read an Excerpt

Measuring the relative wealth of titans who lived in different eras is an art, not a science. But that has not deterred people from trying. In the 1996 book "The Wealthy 100," authors Michael Klepper and Robert Gunther ranked the net worth of 100 wealthy Americans by percentage of gross national product. Two years later, American Heritage magazine compiled a list of the 40 richest Americans in history, based on 1998 dollars. All agreed that John D. Rockefeller was No. 1. And both listed Hetty Green as the richest woman in America.
Dubbed "America's First Female Tycoon," or the "Witch of Wall Street," Green deservedly earned a place in the pantheon of American titans. Unfortunately, she is better known for her eccentricities and miserly ways-and she was as tightfisted as a bare-knuckled boxer-than for her unprecedented accomplishments in what was an exclusively male domain: finance.
Henrietta Howland Robinson was born into money. Her father, Edward Mott Robinson, an affable and unassuming man, married well and through his wife's family became a partner of a thriving whaling business, Isaac Howland Jr. & Co. in New Bedford, Massachusetts, which he subsequently inherited. Whaling produced oil for lamps and machinery, so Robinson became an oil tycoon known as "the Napoleon of the business community." He built the Baker & Robinson oil refinery in New Bedford and later became a very successful stock speculator in New York.
Born November 21, 1834, Hetty did not have an opportunity to settle in with her parents. "I remained with my father and mother until eighteen months old," she later testified in court, "and then went to live with my aunt. . . I lived there until I went from home to school." Her aunt Sylvia "took care of and advised me." Apparently Hetty became attached to her father and had little contact with her mother, who was withdrawn and distant.
Hetty continued to live with her aunt and her father, learned to drive horses at age six, attended Eliza Wing's boarding school, a Quaker institution, but got her financial education on the New Bedford waterfront. "My grandfather's eyesight was failing and my father's, too," she recalled years later. "And as soon as I learned to read, it became my daily duty to read aloud to them the financial news of the world. . . . I came to know what stocks and bonds were, how the markets fluctuated and the meaning of 'bulls' and 'bears.'" She also kept a "strict account of personal and household expenses."
After her mother died in 1860, Hetty lived with her aunt for three years before moving to new York where her father had moved. New York opened up a new and revealing world. Tall, attractive, with blue eyes and rich auburn hair, Hetty attended all the balls, dances and concerts, though she tended toward unfashionable and austere Quaker dresses, with one notable exception. She attended a ball at Saratoga Lake given by former President Martin Van Buren for the Prince of Wales,
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2011

    VERY quick read

    The six pages that make up the book were really good. But, don't go to a lot of trouble settling in for this one. It will be finished before you've even gotten comfortable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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