In The News... | Sharpe Group
Posted August 1st, 1998

In The News…

Ol’ Blue Eyes’ will takes care of family, charities

When Frank Sinatra died of heart failure in May, the media paid tribute to him as the man with a voice that led him to stardom. When Frank Sinatra’s will was read, we learned that there was more to the man behind the voice. Sinatra not only provided for his family in his will, but he also bequeathed millions to help abused children.

According to Artie Funair, Sinatra’s personal assistant for many years, Ol’ Blue Eyes “hated people talking about his generosity and frequently gave away money anonymously.” Funair said Sinatra had been moved by seeing the children who were assisted by his wife’s Children’s Center. “He wants to be remembered as the guy who took a big step toward helping kids,” Funair stated. “He prayed that his money would relieve the terrible anguish and fear he saw in the faces of the children at his wife’s clinic.”

Sinatra’s will provides for at least $70 million and as much as $150 million to go to children’s charities. And, according to Funair, Sinatra’s will also makes sure that “his children and grandchildren and great grandchildren will be super rich as long as they don’t squander the fortune.”

Source: The New York Post, May 18, 1998

As rich get richer, boats get bigger

According to the World Wealth Report released by Merrill Lynch, the wealthiest people in the world are getting wealthier. The combined wealth of the world’s richest individuals–those with investable assets of $1 million or more–equaled approximately $17.4 trillion in 1997. This number, which was 5% more than it was in the 1996 Merrill Lynch study, is expected to grow another 10% in the next three years.

So what are these wealthy individuals doing with their money? Some are splurging on lavish toys such as megayachts– yachts over 80 feet long furnished with exotic woods and marble that cost over $10 million. Daniel Phillips, publisher of the Robb Report, a monthly catalog of merchandise for the mega-rich, says, “The type of luxury coming back is almost like the Vanderbilts.”

Others are making very large charitable gifts from their riches. For example, Sanford Weill was the former chairman of the Travelers Companies and is now co-chairman of Citigroup, the new company resulting from the merger of Travelers and Citicorp. Noted as one of the top-paid CEOs in the country, Weill and his wife recently contributed $100 million to Cornell University’s medical college. Weill, a 1955 Cornell graduate, has been a long-time supporter of his alma mater.

Source: USA Today, April 30, 1998

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