What happened to Huguette Clark? Huguette M Clark was 15 in 1922, that makes her 103 in 2010. Clark’s father was William A Clark. William Clark was a senator. Clark got rich through copper and he was known as a copper king while he was alive. Clark was then the second richest man in America. Clark’s wealth was second to that of Rockefeller.
William Clark’s first wife, Kate Clark, died in 1893. They had 4 grown children. In 1901, Clark , 62, married Anna Eugenia La Chapelle, 23. Their daughters were Andree Clark, born in 1902 and Huguette Clark, born in 1906.
Andree Clark died in 1919, one week before her 17th birthday. Andree’s cause of death was meningitis.
Huguette Clark, 22, married William Gower, 23, on Aug 18, 1928. Two years later, she divorced Gower. The grounds for divorce was allegedly due to desertion.
In 1928, Huguette Clark, then about 21-22 years old, was the owner of the Clark Estate, in Santa Barbara, which contained a salt water pond. Ms Clark donated $50,000 to excavate the pond and create an artificial freshwater lake.
Huguette Clark named the place the Andree Clark Bird Refuge, in memory of her deceased sister. The Clark family donated more money to complete the project.
Huguette Clark has many mansions across America. Her houses were left empty for decades. Ms Clark has not been seen for many years. None know where Huguette Clark lives. Her age now would be 103.
Ms Clark does not have any heirs.
Huguette Clark has a mansion called the Bellosguardo, in Santa Barbara, Ca. The property is worth $100 million. Care takers worked at the Clark property for many years but have not met any of the Clark family.
Ms Clark has a large property in Connecticut but never lived there. Clark was seen a few times in 30 years in her large New York apartment.
Wallace Brock, her attorney, received instructions via phone. He said Ms Clark will be 104, after her birthday, in June 2010. Brock said her mind is still clear. Brock refused to pass messages for an interview.
It was hinted that Ms Clark may be living in a nursing home or hospital. Her eyesight and hearing are failing as she approaches 104.
In July 2010, The Today Show traced the location of Huguette Clark. They have maintained the privacy of Ms Clark and refused to reveal her location.
Ms Clark now lives in a hospital room somewhere in New York. Clark entered the hospital because she wanted to be cared for.
One of her grand-nephews has been in contact with her. He said she has a clear mind and is aware of her surroundings. What happened was that Ms Clark lost interest in her friends and the outside world. After her mother died in 1963, Ms Clark slowly began withdrawing away from her small circle of friends.
Ms Clark chose to live her life quietly, away from people and society.
Clarke’s home in Santa Barbara, named Bellosguardo, is worth $100 million. Clark has not lived in Bellosguardo since her mother died in 1963.
Her mansion in New Canaan, bought in 1952, is on sale for $24 million. Clark didn’t use the mansion at all.
Clark allegedly lived in the 42 rooms in her New York Fifth Avenue apartments the past 3 or 4 decades. Clark owns all of the 8th floor apartments and half of the 12th floor apartments. Clark’s belongings are housed in the apartments.
Her household help have seen her, from a distance, but for a handful of times during the last 30 years.
Huguette Clark grew more solitary and eccentric since her voluntary withdrawal into her own personal space. She refused to see her distant relatives. Ms Clark told them to stand at the sidewalk, while she stood above them, in the comfort of her apartment, and she would wave at them.
Ms Clark was generous to the doormen at her apartment building. She gave each doorman a check for $500 at Christmas time. Her household staff had very little to say about Ms Clark. They had rarely seen her in the huge apartment of 42 rooms. Sometimes, they saw a thin, shadowy figure walking around.
The last her building’s staff saw her was in the 1980s, when they said an ambulance came to fetch Ms Clark.
A historian who spoke to Ms Clark 6 years ago, over the phone, said she displayed a clarity of mind. Ms Clark was hard of hearing, but she spoke distinctly and could relate anecdotes from her younger days. It was known that she read the New York Times every day and was aware of the present issues in society.
People who asked to see Ms Clark were turned away by her lawyer, Mr Bock. Relatives sent cards and sometimes flowers or gifts but they received no indication that Clark accepted those gifts.
William Andrews Clark Sr.
Huguette’s father, William Andrews Clark Sr, lived from Jan 8 1839 to March 2 1925. William Clark was a businessman who made his fortune in mining, banking and railroads. Clark was so successful he turned his attention to becoming a politician. At his first attempt, Clark caused a scandal by buying votes to seat himself in the Senate. At his second attempt, Clark was successful and he became a Senator of Montana. Clark served from 1901 to 1907 and he was happy enough to step down after that term.
When William Clark’s mother died, he built a home to honor her memory. The Mary Andrews Clark Memorial Home was built and operated by the YWCA for young working women. The Home was built with a grand architecture and became very popular when it opened in 1914. In 1987, the Whittier Narrows earthquake made the grounds and building unsafe to reside in. Restoration work was done and by 1995, the Home was re-opened. The Home became a mow cost housing project for needy people earning less than $17 650 per annum.
The Mary Andrews Clark Memorial Home has been named as a Historic Cultural Monument by the LA Cultural Heritage Commission in 1976. The Home has been used as a location to film period films because of its architecture.
Mark Twain, an author, wrote an essay on William Clark. Twain criticized Clark heavily for his crooked practices.
Clark passed away at the age of 86, in his home, in New York. After his death, Clark’s massive art collection was donated to a museum.
William Clark had two wives. His first wife gave him several children. One son, William Andrews Clark Jr, donated a library of rare books to the University of California, the LA branch. Clark’s second wife was named Anna and she gave him two daughters, Huguette and her sister. There was a controversy at that time regarding William’s marriage to Anna as no marriage certificate was found regarding that union.
Ian Devine and Carla Hall Friedman of New York and Karine Albert McCall of Washington DC claimed to be descendants of William Clark’s first marriage.
Huguette Clark and her father William Clark, in 1922.
Huguette Clark in 1930.
Huguette Clark with her father and sister.
Updated Tuesday May 24 2011 – Ms Huguette Clark died on Tuesday, May 24, 2011. Ms Clark, 104 years old, was dead on Tuesday morning.
Ms Clark last stayed at Beth Israel Medical Center. When she died, Clark left behind $500 million.
Huguette Clark was buried at her family mausoleum, in the Bronx, in New York. Her lawyer, Wallace Bock, banned relatives from attending her funeral. Bock said Ms Clark instructed bhim to hold a private funeral for her. Ms Clark was buried on May 26 2011.
Manhattan District attorney’s assistant visited Ms Clark in hospital during 2010 – 2011, to talk to her, after her relatives alleged Ms Clark’s accountant and lawyer were not acting in her best interests. The Supreme Court has issued subpoenas for documents and it could be months before the investigation yields any results. Ms Clark’s will has not been filed by her lawyer.
Ms Clark explained in her will that she was not leaving anything to her relatives as she had minimal contact with them. Clark defended her decisions to leave some inheritance to her selected recepients because they were the true to her.
Her nurse, Hadassah Peri, was her faithful friend and companion over the years. Clark had already given her around $2 million over the past years, to be used to purchase personal homes. Ms Peri was randomly assigned by a nursing agency, to take care of Ms Clark, in 1991. Peri got along well with Clark, who retained her services over the years, even as she shifted her in-hospital stay over a few hospitals.
Contrary to common belief, Clark’s lawyer and accountant did not get the bulk of her estate. They each received half a million. Clark valued the services of the professionals who worked for her. Bock had always maintained that Ms Clark instructed him to handle her affairs and keep her relatives away from her.
It remains to be seen if Clark’s relatives would file lawsuits to contest her will.
Huguette M Clark’s Last Will and Testament, was drawn up in April 2005, when she was 98 years old. Ms Clark gave away her money and property to:
Wallace Bock, aka Wally Bock, 79, her lawyer – $500,000
Irving Kamsler, 64, her accountant – $500,000
Wanda Styka, her goddaughter, $12 million
Hadassah Peri, her private nurse since 1991, $33 million, and Clark’s French and Japanese doll collections
Christopher Sattler, her assistant – $500,000
Dr. Henry Singman, her physician – $100,000
Anthony Ruggiero, 81, caretaker of Clark’s 52-acre New Canaan, Connecticut estate for 21 years – $15,000
Bellosguardo Foundation – $8 million, and valuable paintings
Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington – $25 million Monet painting of “Water Lilies”
The rest of the money and estate, around $300 million, was donated to charity.
May 15 2014 –
Ms Clark’s properties have been opened for auditing. Photos were taken of the interior, showing the original sculptures, paintings and décor, which brought back nostalgia of the 1950s. Ms Clark withdrew from society and relatives, after her mother and sister died. She kept her houses furnished in the era of the times. She never set foot in some properties, but kept them for emergency purposes like a refuge from disaster, or for investment.
Ms Clark collected dolls and painted to occupy her time. Painting is an active hobby that engages different regions of the brain. Neurones fire nerve impulses to form complex connections in the brain. The grey matter is called to coordinate and activate functions, keeping the brain functional. Painting involves visual and sensory coordination and keeps one mentally and physically active. The regular brush strokes are repetitive and thus a form of therapy. It was believed Ms Clark engaged herself in therapeutic hobbies to deal with her personal tragedies.
Ms Clark might have lived her life differently had she been under some care program that synchronized health care for the elderly women and men. She could have found companionship in the community of senior citizens. Elderly people who have lost loved ones will understand the common bond of bereavement and mourning. Social interaction helps to keep the mind active and delay the onset of old age diseases like dementia. Grant it that a rich woman like Ms Clark would not need unpaid companionship, but that is exactly the point of befriending for the sake of friendship. She could afford to share her resources like her painting and doll collections. She could have invited friends over to visit her at her home. Ms Clark’s perception of life was subject to her interpretation of what she thought was her preferred way of living. Her materialistic needs were met with the help of her money. Her mother and sister had died, leaving Ms Clark with the perception that no one else in society could plug the sorrow in her heart. Therapy might have helped her deal with her personal tragedies.
In general, hired help have to observe boundaries as their ethics demand the observance of etiquette and behavior. If a patient or client was eccentric or slightly unusual, it was not their business, or in their interest, to criticize or bite the hand that feeds them. That could have explained why eccentricities were permitted to continue unchallenged.
Huguette Clark, RIP.
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