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Marjorie Merriweather Post
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    (March 15, 1887-September 12, 1973)
    Born in Springfield, Illinois
    Daughter of General Foods founder C.W. Post
    Mother of actress Dina Merrill
    Built Mar-a-Lago in Palm Springs, Florida
    Net worth: $250 million
    She was married and divorced four times (most famously to stockbroker E.F. Hutton).
    Her father accompanied her on her first honeymoon.
    Hutton was less than thrilled when the construction costs for Mar-a-Lago ballooned to more than twice the original estimate: 'Marjorie said she was going to build a little cottage by the sea. Look what we got!'
    She reportedly built her collection of Russian art in part by buying valuables seized from the victims of Stalin's purges.
    She left Mar-a-Lago to the US government for use as a winter White House. When the maintenance costs began outstripping the funds she had provided, the government returned the mansion to her estate (1981).
    She was a statuesque beauty known for her perfect complexion.
    She went against Hutton's advice and had General Foods buy Clarence Birdseye's frozen food company for $20 million (1929).
    She received the Legion of Honor for funding the largest Red Cross hospital in France during World War I.
    During the Depression, she financed and personally supervised a Salvation Army feeding station in New York City that served over a thousand people a day.
    She donated her Washington DC house, Hilltop, and its antique furnishings to the Smithsonian Institution.
    She also willed to the Smithsonian her collection of Native American artifacts, considered one of the world's finest.
    Her desire for Mar-a-Lago to be a winter White House was fulfilled in a roundabout way when its purchaser, Donald Trump, was elected President.

Credit: C. Fishel

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