NEW YORK (MainStreet) In her book The Richest Woman in America (Nan A. Talese, 2013), Janet Wallach chronicles the cosmic ascension of Hetty Green, who had amassed $100 million (equivalent to some $2.5 billion today) by the time of her death in 1916. A true self-made female tycoon, she was an anomaly in her day.
It was in 2007 that Wallach first discovered Green, and when the Great Recession arrived in 2008, as the writer poured over her research and scanned the newspapers of Green's era, Wallach realized the true genius of her new obsessional figure; Green had lived through the financial panics of 1873, 1893 and 1907, and not only did she survive, but she also came out on top.
To excavate the strategies of Hetty Green that led her to become the richest woman in America, MainStreet posed the following questions to Wallach.
Today we have female billionaires from Spanx founder Sara Blakely to Oprah Winfrey: what attributes do the modern female tycoons share with Hetty Green? Which women (or men) is she most similar to in today's world?