Leona Helmsley Biography
(American Businesswoman and Real Estate Investor)
Birthday: July 4, 1919 (Cancer)
Born In: Marbletown, New York, United States
Leona Helmsley was a well-known American businesswoman who had amassed a massive fortune as a hotelier. She was also notorious for her brushes with the law and her tyrannical behavior which earned her the sobriquet the ‘Queen of Mean.’ She was the wife and widow of Harry Helmsley, a New York based real estate business tycoon. Helmsley had the record of being on the annual Forbes list of the richest Americans for many years. Several posh hotels and prime real estate were owned by her real estate firms. However, she earned a negative reputation for her arrogant behavior as well as her mistreatment of employees. Her contractors, whom she had hired to build her home, had also sued her for non-payment of dues. Her actions were investigated and she was found guilty of federal income tax evasion as well as other crimes. Though she was initially sentenced for sixteen years, she spent only nineteen months in jail and two months under house arrest. She was also accused of being homophobic after a former employee claimed that he was fired just because he was homosexual. She passed away due to congestive heart failure at the age of 87.