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Montana mansion holds legacy of copper king
In fact, his purchase of a Senate seat through the bribing of legislators led eventually to the constitutional amendment calling for the direct election of senators.
Clark also created the city of Las Vegas in 1905 as a way station for his Los Angeles to Salt Lake City railroad. Surrounding Clark County was named for him.
Clark left the Senate in 1907 and moved to a Fifth Avenue mansion in New York City, where he devoted himself to his business interests and acquiring art. He died in 1925 at age 86, leaving his children a fortune of more than $200 million.
His last surviving child was Huguette Clark, who was born in Paris. She was married briefly in her 20s to a bank clerk, but they parted after only nine months.
After her mother’s death, Clark’s busy life in New York society slowed and she rarely ventured from her home. She voluntarily moved into a hospital in the 1980s. She died in May 2011 at age 104, leaving a $400 million estate but no children.
A New York judge has suspended the attorney and accountant who administered her estate, after finding evidence they engaged in tax fraud that resulted in $90 million in unpaid federal gift taxes and penalties. Both deny any wrongdoing. The Manhattan district attorney’s office has been looking into how Clark’s affairs were managed in the past two decades.
By Tom Fitton
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