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Langley Collyer
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    (October 3, 1885-March 1947)
    Born in Manhattan, New York
    One half of the Collyer brothers (the other older brother was Homer Collyer)
    Recluses famed for compulsive hoarding while residing in their Harlem mansion
    Homer found dead March 21, 1947 - Langley not found until April 8th and had been dead for weeks
    103 tons of collected junk were removed from the decaying, condemned mansion after the brothers death
    Among the items removed were baby carriages (the brothers were childless bachelors), the chassis of a Model T Ford, 14 pianos, eight live cats and human organs pickled in jars
    Marcia Davenport's 1954 novel 'My Brother's Keeper' loosely based on the lives of the brothers
    After their mother died in 1929, both brothers eccentricities intensified.
    Homer became blind and paralyzed, so Langley rather than seek outside help tended to his brother's needs himself.
    His home remedy for his ailing bro was one hundred oranges a week, with black bread and peanut butter.
    When the bank threatened to foreclose in 1942, the cops were called, but he made out a $6,700 check and yelled at onlookers to leave, then rarely ventured outside.
    Asked why he was saving tons of newspapers he stated, 'They're for Homer, so that when he regains his sight he can catch up on the news.'
    He set booby traps with the tons of clutter in his house to deter burglary, but one came down on him and killed him.
    Because Homer's sole provider was now dead he died later from starvation and dehydration.
    Langley, found 18 days after his brother, was just 10 feet from him but overlooked due to being buried under tons of debris.
    His father, a Manhattan gynecologist, abandoned the family in 1909.
    He received a maritime law degree from Columbia university and had a mechanical mind he utilized for inventions.
    His and his brother's mental illnesses went untreated though they could well afford medical care.
    Unsubstantiated rumors of piles of money in his mansion led to broken windows and attempted break-ins.
    Langley and Homer have cultural references: pathological hoarding is sometimes called Collyer brothers syndrome and some NYC firefighters refer to an overpacked house as a Collyer mansion.
    The Collyer brothers were mentioned in an episode of The Honeymooners.

Credit: Scar Tactics

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