From Howard Hughes to Mark Zuckerberg, the public has always been fascinated by genius entrepreneurs who succumb to their eccentricities. Now, James Scurlock engages, educates, and entertains readers with the captivating story of DHL cofounder and billionaire Larry Hillblom.
King Larry begins with an early biography of Larry Lee Hillblom, a mercurial young man who grew up on a peach farm outside of Fresno, California. Hillblom cofounded DHL in 1969 (three years before FedEx), and it became the fastest-growing corporation in history. Hillblom’s expatriate life began in 1981, when he retreated to a small tax haven in the Western Pacific. There he led the resistance to American meddling in the Marianas Islands. Hillblom’s voracious appetite for underage prostitutes is another facet of his unusual story. In 1995, Hillblom’s amoral, thrill-seeking nature caught up to him when his seaplane disappeared off the coast of Anatahan, leaving behind an estate worth billions. Weeks later, five impoverished women and their attorneys came forward to challenge Hillblom’s will in a legal battle for his fortunes that continues to this day.
Meticulously researched and thoroughly engaging, King Larry will satisfy fans of such bestsellers as Confessions of an Economic Hit Manand The Accidental Billionaires .
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
James D. Scurlock studied at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania before dropping out to pursue an entrepreneurial venture and later a documentary film career. His first film, Parents of the Year, won numerous awards and was an official selection of more than twenty-five film festivals. His first feature-length documentary, Maxed Out, explored our culture of debt and won the Special Jury Prize at South by Southwest. His first book, a companion to the award-winning documentary, was nominated for the National MS Society's "Books for a Better Life" Award. He has written, primarily about the impending (and now realized) financial crisis, for Slate, Newsweek, The Huffington Post, and AARP Magazine, among others. He has also appeared on numerous programs, including Nightline, The Today Show, and CNBC’s Power Lunch. Scurlock lives in Santa Monica, California.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
i suppose the probate part of the book is a bit dense, but it's worth pushing through to find yourself truly immersed in the mess Larry left behind. not sure how else to get the reader there. Hillblom was a perve, to be sure, but his life truly was a rags to riches story with an interesting twist--this rich guy actually ran from the limelight and seemed to enjoy being surrounded by poverty. and young girls, sadly. anyway, fascinating read and Scurlock is a darn good writer.
Larry Hillblom was not a “citizen of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands” (he was a United States citizen and CNMI resident), Magellan did not discover Saipan and call it “Island of Thieves” (that was Guam), betel nut is not taken with salt (it’s lime) and Yap lies not northward of Saipan but southward. Those and other meddling errors should not detract from the fascinating story of a self-made, idiosyncratic mastermind. As a famed San Francisco attorney said when asked why Larry frequented girlie bars in the Philippines, “it was, huh, a mere distraction.” That isn’t in the book but the author had to stop somewhere. Besides Larry never sweated the small stuff. He was a big-picture guy. And certainly the biography was ripe since more than a decade had passed and nobody had written one. It’s our fortune that James Scurlock, who never met Hillblom, tried to get to know this peculiar guy better by spending months pouring over the documents of the longest probate case in U.S. history, a million pages, and years interviewing dozens of people around the world who had had dealings with Larry. Of course, some people didn’t talk or tell him everything and you can‘t blame them either. The book abounds in interesting anecdotes. My favorite is when, in a classic game of one-upmanship, dapper Continental bigwig Frank Lorenzo is forced to personally hand the airline’s #1 priority pass to a skinny guy in t-shirt and jeans. Punk beats Wall Street. Who would of thought that? Larry did.