Thursday, February 7, 2013

Doris Duke

     Today's New York Post writes about Duke's teen kin that can't pay tuition.

     We were lucky enough to tour Shangri La, Doris Duke's 4.9 acre estate in Honolulu at the foot of Diamond Head.  This gorgeous mansion, a tribute to Islamic Art is maintained by the Honolulu Academy of Art.  The major domo, Jinadasa deSilva, who was in charge of the house during her lifetime, told us that Doris Duke's father gave her just one piece of advice - "trust no one."

     Her father died in 1925, when she was just 13 years old.  She was left in charge of his vast 50 million dollar estate which she grew to 1.5 billion dollars.  Doris Duke never cared what anybody wrote about her.  She never agreed to interviews and therefore, one cannot separate truth from fiction.

     We do know that she was very tall, over 6 feet, and very blond.  She was an expert swimmer and diver and had an Otis designed moveable diving board installed at her pool.  One push of a button raised (or lowered) the diving board.  She enjoyed the company of Duke Kahanamoku and his family.

     She married and divorced James Cromwell but they never had any children.

     We were curious about Islamic Art.  It turns out that there are no representations of humans, only animals and flowers.

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