Wealthy eccentrics

Sometimes the rich are a little different.

Abe Hirschfeld (1919-2005)
Abe Hirschfeld (1919-2005)
Born in Poland, he left Israel for the United States as a young man, and made a fortune in open-air parking garages and later diversified into residential developments and hotels. In 1993, he bought the New York Post when it was about to be foreclosed; and the Post employees made their feelings known immediately. The next day's front page showed a huge picture of Alexander Hamilton (the paper's founder) with a tear running down his face. Hirschfeld later sold the paper to Rupert Murdoch.

Hirschfeld was also a serial political loser, never coming close to winning campaigns for lieutenant governor, Congress or Manhattan borough president. In 1998 he offered Paula Jones $1,000,000 to drop her sexual harassment lawsuit against Bill Clinton. Convicted in 2001 of conspiracy in the attempted murder of a longtime business associate - Hirschfeld offered $75,000 to a hitman - he served almost two years. Undaunted when he got out, he campaigned for the U.S. Senate, calling himself "Honest Abe."










Almanac of American Wealth Who's got it and how they're spending it. (more)
How they give back The largest donations in U.S. history. (more)
The richest Americans 10 plutocrats, ranked by heir total wealth as a fraction of U.S. GDP. (more)