Trust No One: The Glamorous Life and Bizarre Death of Doris Duke

Overview

With a fortune estimated at over 3 billion dollars and fabulous houses in Hawaii, Newport, Beverly Hills, New Jersey, and New York City, Doris Duke was one of the richest women in America, if not the world. Heiress to the American Tobacco Company fortune made by her father, James Duke, she took to heart her father's admonition "Trust no one!" Although she was a fixture on the international social scene and had countless lovers, ranging from celebrity Errol Flynn to Hawaiian beach boys, she remained desperately ...
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Overview

With a fortune estimated at over 3 billion dollars and fabulous houses in Hawaii, Newport, Beverly Hills, New Jersey, and New York City, Doris Duke was one of the richest women in America, if not the world. Heiress to the American Tobacco Company fortune made by her father, James Duke, she took to heart her father's admonition "Trust no one!" Although she was a fixture on the international social scene and had countless lovers, ranging from celebrity Errol Flynn to Hawaiian beach boys, she remained desperately lonely. After two failed marriages and a notorious scandal, Duke became a semi-recluse whose behavior became increasingly strange. But nothing in her life could compare with the headlines about her death, which included allegations of murder. Written with Tom Rybak, who was a member of Doris Duke's staff, Ted Schwarz's Trust No One is an inside look at Duke's tragic life and delves into the controversy surrounding an estate worth billions.

With a fortune estimated at over $3 billion, Doris Duke was one of the richest women in America, if not the world. Heiress to the American Tobacco Company fortune, she took to heart her father's admonition to "trust no one." Written with Tom Rybak, a member of Duke's staff, this inside look at her tragic life--and mysterious death--offers a powerful reminder that money can't buy happiness. of photos.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Another go at the story of billionaire heiress Doris Duke that raises more questions than it answers about her life, her death, and her last will and testament.

Schwarz (Rose Kennedy: A Life of Faith, Family, and Tragedy, 1995) tries to take a more evenhanded approach to Duke's life story than last year's trashing by her cousin Pony Duke in Too Rich: The Family Secrets of Doris Duke. Coauthor Rybak worked for about two years as Duke's personal chef and was also partly responsible for the hiring of the infamous butler, the late Bernard Lafferty, who supervised—and perhaps helped to hasten—Duke's death in 1993 at age 80. According to the authors, Duke's father, Buck, was the primary influence in her life, the man who taught Doris to "trust no one" and passed on his own obsessions: sex, money, and agriculture. As to sex, Doris's lovers were numerous and varied, from her first husband, the well-bred but financially strapped Jimmy Cromwell, to the jazz pianist Joey Castro. As for money and agriculture, Doris nurtured the Duke fortune from millions to billions and along the way became a botanical expert, specializing in orchids. She was also an accomplished jazz pianist with some recordings to her credit. Although Duke gets recognition for her accomplishments, including her expertise in Eastern art, this biography indulges heavily in speculation about family crimes, including several "murders." Credibility shrinks from sloppy inconsistencies and offensive characterizations, such as the description of Irish immigrants as "drinking, dancing and brawling." The book ends with long, unenlightening excerpts from civil and criminal investigations relating to Duke's death and her will, and peculiar paeans to an attorney representing some Duke employees.

An attempt at a fair hearing for the headline heiress that is negated by trivia and hearsay.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780830052783
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 3/15/1997
  • Pages: 351

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