Think the Kardashians are bad? Get a load of ‘poor little rich girl’ Barbara Hutton
Many of us would give anything for the life that Barbara Hutton seemed to lead in the 20th century. However, this classic “poor little rich girl” didn’t exactly maintain the nonstop state of glamour portrayed in the tabloids. In fact, Barabara Hutton may have been one of the most simultaneously fortunate and unfortunate human beings on earth.
The original Kardashian, Barbara Hutton
These days, endless television specials broadcast the stupidly rich and strangely famous Kardashians of the world. But what about when print news was the source of all hot-button entertainment in the country? During this time, a young heiress named Barbara Hutton dominated the front pages. However, her seemingly remarkable life was far from glamorous, and she became the world’s first “poor little rich girl.”
When it came to her riches, Barbara was certainly fortunate. She never had to worry about getting a job. Her grandfather was the head of the uber-successful Woolworth department store and left behind nearly $25 million for Barbara. Not so shabby, right? Unfortunately, Barbara’s life took so many sharp, terrible turns that her family name was ultimately irrelevant.
Barbara Hutton’s life wasn’t all that lavish
When Barbara was just four years old, she found her mother dead by suicide in a Plaza Hotel suite. This was only the first terrible thing that would end up happening to her. Her father soon remarried your typical evil stepmom who shipped her off to boarding school, where Barbara struggled to make friends. However, when Barbara turned 18, she decided to make everyone jealous with a rager that quickly turned into a scandal.
Barbara threw a debutante ball, which essentially let everyone know that she was rich, single, and ready to mingle. Unfortunately, she picked a sore time to do so: during the Great Depression. Newspapers all over the globe trashed Barbara for blowing nearly $1 million in a time of economic crisis. As much as the press hounded her, they weren’t her only enemy.
And no, it doesn’t get any better
Barbara also had an ongoing feud with another heiress: Doris Duke. Barbara was more beautiful, Doris was more financially responsible, and this made them hate one another. Eventually, Barbara married Doris’ ex-husband, only exasperating their feud. However, this petty hatred soon became the least of her issues. Barbara would end up divorcing him and diving into seven more failed marriages. And after many failed romances, her only child with her second husband was killed in a horrific plane crash.
Sadly, Barbara blew through her savings. After many years of turmoil – accompanied by addiction, destructive spending, and disordered eating – Barbara passed away without a penny to her name. Her heartbreaking narrative only proves that money doesn’t stop the worst of life from happening to you!