"Queen of Mean" Leona Helmsley Dies

NEW YORK (AP) --Leona Helmsley, the hotelier who went to prison as a tax cheat and was reviled as the "queen of mean," died Monday at age 87.

Helmsley died of heart failure at her summer home in Greenwich, Conn., said her publicist, Howard Rubenstein.

Helmsley and her husband, Harry, ran a $5 billion real estate empire that included managing the Empire State Building. She was tried in 1989 on tax evasion charges in a sensational trial that included testimony from disgruntled employees who said she terrorized both menial and executive help at her homes and hotels.

Her image was sealed when a former housekeeper testified that she heard Helmsley say: "We don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes."

She denied having said it, but the words followed her the rest of her life.

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  • by Chaplain Nancy Location: Colorado on Aug 30, 2007 at 01:02 PM
    Leona Helmsley's will left 12 million dollars to her canine companion. I completely understand how Leona Helmsley adored her dog - many of us love ours deeply, too. I just wish she would have shown her love for all dogs, or even all animals, and not just her own particular dog. Imagine how many pets could have been spayed and neutered for that amount of money, or how many dogs could have been saved from the evils of dogfighting. Her little Maltese will not know the difference between a diamond-encrusted collar, and one bought from Target. I hope the brother she appointed to be her dog's caretaker, will keep other animals in mind as well. What is good for the animal kingdom, is good for one cute little spoiled pooch. Nancy J. Cronk Founder, Chair and Chaplain Interfaith Association of Animal Chaplains www.AnimalChaplains.com


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