Interesting Stories about the Rich and Famous,
This review is from: They Went That-A-Way: How the Famous, the Infamous, and the Great Died (Hardcover)
They Went That-A-Way, Forbe
Malcolm Forbes is the editor-in-chief of `Forbes' magazine. He served in the US Army during WW II and earned a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. Jeff Bloch is writer and former reporter for `Forbes' magazine. This 329 page book from 1988 provides a short account of the death of 175 people who were famous for one reason or another over the last 3,000 years. Why should you read this book? For the same reason you browse the weekly tabloids at a supermarket checkout counter or watch "reality TV". The names are listed in alphabetic order in the `Contents' and the `Index'. They don't say how they selected these people. I will list a few of the names.
) Saint Thomas Aquinas is the most important theologian and philosopher in the Roman Catholic church. He was hurt on a journey to meet the Pope and died in a nearby abbey in 1274.
) Bobby Driscoll became a child star for Walt Disney. He got hooked on drugs and became unemployable. He was found dead in 1968, another homeless junkie.
) William C. Durant bought independent car makers to create General Motors in 1908, and later started Chevrolet. He sold his holdings after the 1929 crash. A series of strokes led to his death.
) James Garfield was the compromise Republican candidate for President in 1880. He was murdered by a disappointed office-seeker. This led to civil service reform.
) Ulysses S. Grant has one of the most corrupt presidencies. Bad investments caused a loss of his fortune. To support his wife and children he began to write his memoirs before he died of throat cancer .
) Alexander Hamilton was the first Secretary of the Treasury. He insulted Aaron Burr in a dinner party conversation that was published, and was challenged to a duel. Hamilton's apology was not accepted. Burr shot him and Hamilton died the next day. [Was this over a personal insult?]
) Warren Harding was a likeable compromise candidate in 1920 [like Reagan or Clinton?] Scandals erupted after his unexpected death. Harding said he would rather be loved than great.
) William Henry Harrison was elected after the Panic of 1837. He caught a severe cold after his Inauguration and died a week later.
) Thomas Jefferson and John Adams served together in the Continental Congress but later became rivals after Independence. They reconciled in 1812; both died on July 4, 1826.
)Saint Lawrence is the most celebrated martyr of Roman times. After the execution of Pope Sixtus Lawrence gave away riches to the poor. He was sentenced to a slow death on a gridiron over a fire. His death led to a wave of conversions.
) Senator Joseph McCarthy was censored by the Senate in 1954. His alcoholism increased until he died of liver failure. His name is associated with personal attacks based on unsubstantiated charges.
) Lt. General George Patton led his troops to victory in North Africa, Sicily, and the western front in Europe. He was removed from command for failing to implement denazification policies. A traffic accident broke his neck. He died in his sleep.
) Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller died of a heart attack while in the company of a 25-year old woman. Earlier reports were inaccurate.
) Leon Trotsky fled from Stalinist Russia in 1929 and settled in Mexico in 1937. He was convicted of treason, some of his supporters were hunted by the NKVD. He was killed by a man who feigned friendship.
) Raoul Wallenberg went to Hungary in 1944 and gave Swedish passports to thousands of Jews to save them from extermination. He disappeared in January 1945 when he left to meet Soviet officials. He supposedly died in July 1949, but other reports differed.
) George Washington caught a bad cold in freezing rain. He was treated by being bled, against one doctor's advice. He soon died.