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Duke, Doris

Born: 1912 AD
Died: 1993 AD
2.6 (52.17%) 23 votes



1912 – She was born this year in New York City, she was the only child of tobacco and electric energy tycoon, James Buchanan Duke and his second wife, Southern aristocrat, Nanaline Holt Inman.


1925 – Her father died, his will left approximately half of his huge estate to the Duke Endowment with the remainder, estimated at $100 million (about $1 billion in 2005 dollars), to Doris. It was rumored that the Dukes’ Swedish butler fathered Doris.


1935 – She was married to James H. R. Cromwell, the son of Palm Beach, Florida society doyenne Eva Stotesbury.


1940 – Her husband used her fortune to enter the political arena, becoming U.S. Ambassador to Canada.


1943 – She got divorced to her husband.


1947 – While she was in Paris, France, she became the third wife of Porfirio Rubirosa, a diplomat from the Dominican Republic and notorious playboy.


1966 – Duke and her interior decorator, Eduardo Tirella, drove to Rough Point. As Tirella opened its gates, Duke "accidentally" (she claimed later) gunned the car, dragging Tirella across the street, and then crushed him against a tree, killing him instantly.


1988 – At the age of 75, Doris legally adopted a woman named Chandi Heffner, who was a 35-year-old Hare Krishna devotee whom Doris had met at a dance class, but after adopting her, the two women had a falling out.


1992 – At the age of 79, Doris had a facelift. She began trying to walk while she was still woozy from the surgery and fell and broke a hip.


1993 – At the age of 80, following a series of debilitating strokes. She left virtually all of her fortune– estimated at US$ 1.3 billion, even though she had given away a considerable amount of money throughout her life– to a charitable foundation, over which she put her Irish-born butler Bernard Lafferty in charge.









2.6 (52.17%) 23 votes