In the 1940s, only the duPonts, Rockefellers and Mellons were richer than the Hartfords, heirs to the A&P grocery fortune. But it was as if young Huntington had been born to prove the adage that it takes three generations to go from rags to riches and back to rags.
It was his grandfather who founded the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, and little Hunt himself, with a nine-figure fortune, never much saw the point of working. He dabbled in this and that - models, Paradise Island, Show magazine, once even clerking at an A&P. He dated Lana Turner and raced speedboats with Sean Connery. In 1964, he built the odd 10-story building that housed his Gallery of Modern Art (it closed after five years). Hartford made a fetish of hating abstract impressionism and his serial marriages drained his fortune. His Manhattan townhouse became so squalid that the Health Department sent warnings; He filed for bankruptcy in 1992. He now lives on Paradise Island.