News Flash! The Queen Mean (Leona Helmsley) Dies. Second City Style Fashion Blog

Fountain of 30

August 20, 2007 • Off-Topic


Leona Helmsley 1920-2007

Leona Helmsley, the real estate
developer and hotel operator convicted of tax evasion and dubbed "The Queen of Mean,” died today. She was 87.         

Helmsley died of heart failure at her summer home in
Greenwich, Connecticut, said spokesman Howard Rubenstein. With
her husband, Harry, she helped build a property empire that was
once valued at $5 billion. It included interests in the Empire
State Building, the Park Lane Hotel on Central Park South and
the Helmsley Hotel on 42nd Street, which she promoted in
television advertisements.         

Her conviction in 1989 on federal tax evasion charges made
her a symbol of the excesses of the 1980s and put her on the
front pages of the tabloids. She and her husband were charged
with writing off renovations to their $11 million Greenwich
estate as business expenses.         

Helmsley served 18 months in prison after an eight-week
trial in which former employees painted her as a cold-hearted
boss who fired workers on a whim and told a housekeeper at her
estate that "only the little people pay taxes.”         

The case was the basis for a 1990 made-for-television movie "Leona Helmsley: The Queen of Mean.”         


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