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Charles M. Schwab | Lionbliss Research

Updated: Aug 11, 2022

Overview

Charles Michael Schwab (February 18, 1862 – September 18, 1939) was an American steel magnate. Under his leadership, Bethlehem Steel became the second-largest steel maker in the United States, and one of the most important heavy manufacturers in the world.

Fun Information

  • When Schwab became very wealthy, he moved to New York City's Upper West Side, which at the time was considered the "wrong" side of Central Park, where he built "Riverside", the most ambitious private house ever built in New York. The $7 million 75-room house, designed by French architect Maurice Hebert, combined details from three French chateaux on a full city block. After Schwab's death, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia turned down a proposal to make Riverside the official mayoral residence, deeming it too grandiose. It was eventually razed and replaced by an apartment block.[16]

  • Schwab became notorious for his "fast lane" lifestyle including opulent parties, high-stakes gambling, and a string of extramarital affairs producing at least one child out of wedlock. The affairs and the out-of-wedlock child soured his relationship with his wife. He became an international celebrity when he "broke the bank" at Monte Carlo, and traveled in a $100,000 private rail car named "Loretto".[19] Even before the Great Depression, he had already spent most of his fortune, estimated at between $25 million and $40 million. Adjusted for inflation in the first decade of the 21st century, that equates to between $500 million and $800 million.



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