Who was cheapest woman in history?

| Dror Daliot | Humanity



Her nickname was “The Evil Witch of Wall Street” and she was the richest woman in America at a time when the economy was dominated by men. As rich as she was, she dressed and lived like a beggar, and eventually passed away because of miserliness.

Meet Hetty Green – the cheapest woman in history! She was born in Massachusetts in 1835 and was the only daughter of a wealthy businessman. At the age of six, Hetty began to read to her father business reports. At the age of eight, her father opened her first bank account and deposited $ 1.4 every week and by the time she was 13, she became the bookkeeper of the family business. 

When she was 25 she inherited a house worth $ 8,000 from her mother and received $ 20,000 worth of stock from her aunt. When she was 30 she inherited from her father $ 7.5 million.

Shortly after her father’s death, when she heard that her aunt Sylvia left a $ 2 million will to donate to charity, she appealed to the court using a forged document and got her hands on the entire estate.

Hetty moved to New York to invest her money on Wall Street, where she earned the nickname “The Evil Witch of Wall Street.” She made a series of ingenious investments, and set up a large business, but had no office of her own. She carried her documents in her suitcases, and in order not to pay rent, she worked in the banks’ yards.

At the age of 33, Hetty married Edward Henry Green. She bore him two children, and – true to her nature – they lived in poor rented rooms to avoid property taxes.

Hetty ate only leftovers and used the same dress to save money on clothes. When her son Ned broke his leg as a child, she took him to a poor hospital. The doctors who knew who she was demanded payment, but Hetty refused, took him home, and treated him with home remedies. The result was necrosis that led to Ned’s leg amputation.

At the end of her life, she had a hernia, but she did not want to have surgery because it cost $ 150. She had several heart attacks and was confined to a wheelchair. At age 81, after she had a stroke, her son Ned hired doctors who wore ordinary clothes so that his mother would not notice and refuse to accept the expensive treatment.

She died that year of a stroke while arguing with a housekeeper about the virtues of skim milk. Upon her death, Hetty’s net worth was $ 200 million, which is equal today to $ 4.7 billion. She was the richest woman in the world.

Bonus fact: After her death, her son Ned lived a life of luxury and spent all his money on parties, yachts, and diamonds. 

Her daughter Sylvia passed away in 1951, leaving $ 200 million donated almost entirely to 64 colleges, churches, hospitals, and other charitable causes.