Leona Helmsley came to civic notice after her 1972 marriage to on of New York's most prominent real estate moguls Harry Helmsley who divorced his wife of 33 years for her (he was her third husband). At the time he had a fortune of about $5 billion and a portfolio including such jewels as the Empire State and the Flatiron Buildings. Once she became President of Helmsley Hotels, she embarked on a notorious advertising campaign as the 'Queen of Mean' There were multiple new stories in the press each tackier than the one before. When Harry Helmsley's only son died of a heart condition, she sent an eviction notice to his wife and sued the estate eventually getting $146,000. She got into legal problems when they spent $8 million renovating a big estate in Greenwich which she called a business expense. Rudolph Giuliani was the prosecutor and she was sentenced to 19 years in jail – didn`t serve it all. She hired Alan Dershowitz as her new lawyer and when she died of a heart attack at 87 left a bequest to her Maltese dog Trouble of $12,000,000. This was all over the tabloids especially because her children had to sue to get the estate reduced.

Awarded, 2007

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