Friday, March 6, 2015

From Class to Trash in Three Generations

"The Hiltons - the True Story of an American Dynasty" by J. Randy Taraborrelli   Grand Central Publishing   450 pages   $30
The title is a spin on "from rags to riches and back again" generally used to refer to one's wealth but I think the two go together in some strange cosmic equation.  Think about the Kennedy family...But this is not about them.

Conrad Hilton, the first generation was generally believed to be a shrewd business man with a strong penchant for handshake deals.  And he became extremely wealthy.  As a deeply devout Catholic, he donated generously to various charities involving the Church. 

2nd generation - he and his first wife had three sons and then Conrad divorced Mary to wed Zsa Zsa Gabor.  During the course of their relationship, she presented him with a daughter but whether it was his is still unknown.  They were in the middle of  a divorce at the time she became pregnant. 

The three sons continued on in the business.  Their reputation started it's first slip when Nicky (Conrad II) married 18 year old Elizabeth Taylor.  They were divorced in less than a year (physical and mental cruelty) and he died an alcoholic at 43. 

In contrast, Barron and his wife had nine kids which in turn provided four great-grandchildren of the original Conrad.   They are:

Conrad III who made the papers a few days ago.  He terrorized the crew and passengers of a BA flight from London to Los Angeles.  Among the less tasteful rants he made were that everyone on the plane was a peasant; that no matter what kind of trouble he got into that his father could buy his way out of it.  He was arrested on arrival after having been handcuffed by the crew. 

Barron Hilton is currently acting badly - which is as usual - in Miami.  Drink and drugs make him hyper-sensitive to insults and thence into fights.  I wonder if he used to run with Ted and Patrick Kennedy?

Nicky Hilton hasn't done much of anything; she seems to be capable of avoiding press coverage.  She did have a three-month marriage after a Vegas wedding, but nothing else jumped out at me.

Paris Hilton has faded from the spotlight (and it's more than high time) and apparently spends more time in Europe than the US.  Just as well -- in her early days it was believed that she might be suffering from pre-Alzheimer's as she could not seem to remember to wear underpants.  Her entrances and exits from cars were photographed on a near daily basis.  One on-looker stared at one of these photos and muttered, "I'll never look at a roast beef sandwich in the same way again." 

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