THE RICHEST MEN ON EARTH.
Rodney and Otamatea Times, Waitemata and Kaipara Gazette , 2 September 1925, Page 5
THE RICHEST MEN ON EARTH.
MILLIONAIRES WITH SIMPLE TASTES.
There has been a great deal of discussion recently about the richest men in the world. The richest man in America is no doubt Mr Henry Ford, who seems to have outdistanced Mr J. D. Rockefeller in the millionaire stakes. Mr Ford's motor car undertakings could be capitalised at 400,--000,000. His "cash in hand" averages £36,000,000. His profits are said to average £22,000,000 per annum and in 1923 it was officially recorded that he paid £500,000 in income tax. Mr John D. Rockefeller's fortune was estimated a few months ago to have dwindled to a mere £222,000,000 He has, however, in the past few years given away as much as £ 115,--000,000 for various educational and philanthropic purposes, which accounts for his comparative poverty. Mr Frank Jay Gould, another American whose name inevitably occurs in any discussion on wealth is underntood to possess about £20,000,000. Other American millionaires whose names are unknown to fame easily outdo Mr Gould. There is for instance Mr John Nicholas Brown, who three years ago became heir to the fortunes of his father and grandfather, textile kings of Provideuce, Rhode Island, and who to-day, at twenty-five, owns £60,000,000. He is guarded night and day by detectives. There are the heirs of Mr Isaac Guggenheim, who left £80,000,000, and those of John Wauamaker, who left £40,000,000.
Wealth, howevtr, even in America, does not appear to bring unalloyed delight. Most trans-atlantic Croesuses are popularly supposed to live on a digestive biscuit and iced water, with an occasional glass of milk. Some official statistics published last year recorded the fact that of some 120,000 persons who committed suicide in the United States in 1922, no fewer than seventy nine were millionaires.
Thwre is no British millionaue with a fortune approaching the fabulous suras owned by Mr Henry Ford or Mr and there are few whose millions mount to anything like even the £40,000,000 of Mr Wunamaker.
The wealth of British millionaires, moreover, is frequently never known until they die and their wills come to be proved. They may be known as rnaguaf.es of commerce or shipping, but only the inner circle can estimate their fortunes. Some of the richest men lead quiet, unobtrusive lives, and are never suspectad oi; owning millions. The probate records of the past few years give numerous instances of these hidden millionaires. Mr J. T. Mills, of Leiglmm Buzzard, was one. He rode to his office every day on a tramear, led the simplest of lives and left £4,100,000. Mr Charles Morrison, the wholesale draper, left £10,936,668. No one had ever suspected him of being one twentieth so wealthy. The moral seems to be that any suburban or rural householder may live all his life next door to a millionaire and never know it till his neighbour dies.