Reclusive heiress Huguette Clark died yesterday at the age of 104 in Beth Israel, where she has resided the last 20 years of her life. Her obituary in the Times describes her as "certainly the last link to New York's Gilded Age" (no relation to its current Gilded Age). Her extended family sued her longtime attorney Wallace Bock, and accountant Irving Kamsler for "suspicious transfers" and mismanaging Clark's estimated $500 million fortune, but a judge ruled that the money remain under their control, despite a continuing investigation by the Manhattan DA's office. Through a spokesman, Bock said of her passing "She died as she wanted, with dignity and privacy. We continue to respect her wishes for privacy."
MSNBC notes that a photograph of Ms. Clark hasn't been taken since she was 30, and that she was registered under a pseudonym at Beth Israel in a room that didn't exist: "outside her room on the 3rd floor, a card with the fake number 1B and the name "Chase" was taped over the actual room number."
Clark, the daughter of US Senator and copper baron William Andrews Clark, who was born before the Mexican War and famously said "I never bought a man who wasn't for sale," preferred to spend most of her adulthood away from human contact, preferring the company of her dolls to schmoozing with the Astors and Rockefellers. Her father's 121-room mansion on 5th avenue has been demolished, but her Connecticut estate is still on the market for $24 million. At least she didn't leave her fortune to a dog.