'20s Socialite Dies After 80 Years as Recluse
Huguette Clark dead at 104
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2011 5:59 AM CDT
This 1930 photo, taken when Clark traveled to Reno to obtain a divorce, is the last known photo taken of the heiress.   (AP Photo, File)

(Newser) – Copper heiress Huguette Clark, a fixture of society pages in the 1920s, has died some 80 years after she turned her back on high society. Clark died at age 104 in a Manhattan hospital where she had spent more than 20 years despite being in good health, the Wall Street Journal reports. The sixth and last child of tycoon William Clark, once America's second-richest man, she leaves a fortune estimated at $500 million.

After a brief marriage at the age of 22, Clark divorced and became a recluse, spending most of her life in an art-filled 42-room apartment overlooking Central Park. The heiress, who once told friends that wealth is a "menace to happiness" and that she just wanted to stay home and play with dolls, spent her years in the hospital under a series of pseudonyms, attended by aides around the clock and surrounded by the antique dolls she had collected since she was a girl.

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Showing 3 of 14 comments
May 28, 2011 3:21 PM CDT
Well, I just think it's very sad. What a sad, sad life... regardless of the money.
May 25, 2011 7:01 PM CDT
I hate it when wealth gets in the way of leisure and happiness...such as being in a 42 room apartment for twenty years and spending all your free time playing with dolls. The rest of us poor people have to struggle with jobs just to pay the bills...I wish large amounts of money would try to get in the way of my happiness....hmmmmm.
May 25, 2011 5:27 PM CDT
Untreated mental illness can be devastating....