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Binghams of Louisville; The Dark History Behind One of America's Great Fortunes

Chandler, David Leon, with Chandler, Mary Voelz

25 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0517568950 / ISBN 13: 9780517568958
Published by Crown Publishers, Inc, New York, 1987
Condition: Very good Hardcover
From Ground Zero Books, Ltd. (Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

xii, 292 pages. Kenan and Bingham Genealogical trees on endpaper. Illustrations. Notes. Index. DJ has slight wear and soiling. David Chandler's riveting expose of the rise and fall of the house of Bingham, a controversial American dynasty, is finally released after generating one of the most heated publishing disputes in years. David Leon Chandler (May 26, 1937 - January 23, 1994) was an American journalist who wrote several historical and biographical books during the 1970s and 1980s. He was associated with early coverage of the Kennedy Assassination and was mentioned in the Warren Commission report. Chandler was born in Covington, Kentucky. Following service in the merchant marine and U.S. Navy, Chandler worked three years from 1959 for The News-Herald in Panama City, Florida. Eventually he led a team whose investigation and coverage of corruption won the 1962 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, citing the newspaper's "three-year campaign against entrenched power and corruption, with resultant reforms in Panama City and Bay County." He worked for New Orleans' afternoon newspaper The States-Item 1962-1964 and then on contract with Life magazine, initially regarding the Kennedy assassination. Chandler ran for Governor of Louisiana in the 1971 Democratic Party primary "hoping to prove that a candidate could win the governorship without taking any campaign contributions"-and finished twelfth with 0.62% of the vote. From 1972 he was a free-lance writer of magazine articles and books. Chandler's books include The Binghams of Louisville (1988). Extracted from a review found on-line: THIS is the first book to deal with the downfall of the Bingham dynasty, which self-destructed in 1986 when the family sold its Louisville, Ky., newspaper empire to the Gannett chain. David Leon Chandler's book's real focus is the death of Mary Lily Bingham in 1917, surprisingly soon after she had written a codicil to her will bequeathing $5 million to her husband of less than a year, Robert Worth Bingham. It was this bequest that enabled Bingham to buy The Louisville Courier-Journal and Times, which in turn brought him national eminence and eventually appointment as Franklin Roosevelt's first Ambassador to the Court of St. James's. The Louisville lawyer had been a friend and probably lover of Mary Lily Kenan in her youth, and ardently renewed the friendship after the death of her first husband, the Standard Oil co-founder and Florida real estate developer Henry Morrison Flagler. She married Bingham in 1916, after he had signed a prenuptial agreement waiving any rights to her considerable estate. But then, in short order, came the codicil and Mary Lily's death. Mr. Chandler disputes the conclusion at the time that Mary Lily died of natural causes, and asserts that she died either from an overdose of morphine administered directly by Bingham or in collusion with a doctor friend, or from the withholding of proper medical attention from the sick, possibly addicted woman. In the Bingham case, one theory is that of simple medical malpractice. Another theory advanced by Barry Bingham Sr., Robert's son, is that Mary Lily was a chronic alcoholic and died of alcoholism, a conclusion supported by an affidavit from a doctor and family friend given at the time of Robert's ambassadorial confirmation hearings in 1933. Barry Bingham Sr.'s theory is set forth, and dismissed by the author, in an extensive footnote at the book's end. That footnote has a story in itself. Originally scheduled for publication by Macmillan in early 1987, Mr. Chandler's book was withdrawn after unspecified ''serious substantive disagreements'' over the author's interpretation of his research into Mary Lily's death. The withdrawal came after delivery of what Sallie Bingham has characterized elsewhere as ''an eighteen-inch-high stack of legal documents'' to Macmillan by Barry Bingham Sr. Barry Sr., in a truly extraordinary move for a former newspaper publisher, had copyrighted his written respon. Bookseller Inventory # 64599

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Binghams of Louisville; The Dark History ...

Publisher: Crown Publishers, Inc, New York

Publication Date: 1987

Binding: Hardcover

Illustrator: Ken Sansone and Peter A. Davis (Jacket Design)

Book Condition: Very good

Dust Jacket Condition: very good

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


Traces the history of one of America's most prominent families and clarifies the circumstances of the suspicious death that has haunted the illustrious dynasty

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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