Dig Into the Archives Series: A different topic every month, the first Friday of every month.
Friday, April 5, 2013
Special Collections Reading Room in Magill Library
Hetty Howland Robinson Green (1834-1916), America’s first great female financier, is a largely forgotten figure in the annals of enterprise. Born into a wealthy Quaker family, Green inherited one million dollars from the deaths of her father and aunt, yet carried a grudge for both her entire lifetime. Setting out to prove her financial acumen, Green, through sound investing and pathological thrift, parlayed her inheritance into $100 million (over $2 billion in today's dollars), becoming the richest woman in America. While accumulating her vast fortune during the Gilded Age and into the twentieth century, Green exhibited numerous eccentricities, sensationalized by the media of the day and further embellished by posthumous biographies of her. This Dig Into The Archives will peel away the myth to reveal an underappreciated, yet deeply troubled woman, whose financial genius and misunderstood character earned her the title of the Witch of Wall Street.