How America’s Richest Woman Self-Destructed And Died With Her Life In Ruins

It’s May 1979, and ex-socialite Barbara Hutton is living a reclusive life at the Beverley Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles. Born into great riches, her life has been a rollercoaster of drugs, marriages and reckless spending. Now, she is almost bankrupt, forgotten by a world that once tracked her every move.

The story began in 1878, when Barbara’s entrepreneur grandfather Frank Winfield Woolworth opened his first “Five-and-Dime” store in Pennsylvania. With his affordable products and innovative approach to shopping, he soon had a hit on his hands. And by 1911 there were almost 600 Woolworth retailers around the country.

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