Leona Helmsley (July 4, 1920 – August 20, 2007) was a billionaire New York City hotel operator and real estate investor. She was a flamboyant personality and had a reputation for tyrannical behavior that earned her the nickname "Queen of Mean." The image of Helmsley was sealed when a former housekeeper testified that she heard Helmsley say: "We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes." She was convicted of federal income tax evasion and other crimes in 1989 and served 19 months in prison (and two more months in house arrest), after receiving an initial sentence of 16 years.
Leona Helmsley died from congestive heart failure, at the age of 87, on August 20, 2007, at her summer home in Greenwich, Connecticut Cardiovascular disease ran in her family, claiming the lives of her father, son and a sister. After a week at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel, she was entombed next to Harry Helmsley in a mausoleum constructed for $1.4 million and set on 3/4 acre in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Westchester County, New York.
I grew up in the 80’s. I probably heard Johnny Carson cracking jokes about Leona Helmsley about thousand times.
She was a great person in a way. She started out as a secretary, then took over the industry. I wish I was like that.
Then she made some bad decisions later in her life.
She must have been lonely, because she left 12 million dollars to her dog.