Real Reason These 5 America’s Richest Families Went Broke
Articles, Blog

Real Reason These 5 America’s Richest Families Went Broke

September 1, 2019

This episode is brought to you by Dashlane;
Try Dashlane Premium free for 30 days at and never forget another password and keep
all your online accounts secure! In the 1800s when the USA was growing into
the powerhouse it is today, a lot of families were getting rich. This was called the gilded age. Some made a fortune from things like the gold
rush, while others just had great ideas. Thanks to a guy called Levi Strauss we got
blue jeans, something he invented during the Gold Rush for people who needed sturdier work
pants. He amassed great wealth thanks to his nifty
invention. Prior to this some of the wealthiest people
were plantation owners, merchants, statesmen, and then came the bankers, real estate moguls,
and those working in the oil and railroad industries. In the 20th century others made fortunes,
too, or should we say fickle fortunes. Some families managed to retain their wealth,
while others lost it all, or most of it. Those are the people we’ll talk about today. The Pulitzers
We’ll start with a name we think many of you will be familiar with. The reason you might have heard the name is
because there is an award called the Pulitzer Prize. This is given to people who have created something
great, either in literature, journalism, music, and more. But do you know why we have this prize at
all? Well, that’s because a kind man called Joseph
Pulitzer gave Columbia University a bunch of money to start a journalism school in 1892. This was the world’s first journalism school. Joseph had amassed quite a fortune in the
newspaper business and wanted a country full of great reporters. He got depressed, sick, and died, but in 1917
his name lived on when the first Pulitzer prize as we know it today was awarded. But that’s not why we are here today. What we want to know is what happened to all
his cash? The answer is his grandson Peter Pulitzer
invested a lot of that fortune in an 800-acre citrus farm, but that didn’t go well because
the trees got sick from something called citrus canker. This is a bacterial disease that destroys
the trees. We are told this would have ruined him, but
the husband of his ex-wife bailed him out. That saved the citrus operation, so while
Joseph didn’t exactly lose it all, he would have without a little help from friends. The Strohs
This family we doubt you’ve heard of, unless you’re a big beer fan. The story goes that a young Bernhard Stroh
had learned how to make beer in his native Germany, but during the German revolution
he went to the USA with 150 bucks in his pocket and a recipe to make a decent beer. At age 28 in 1850 he started a brewery in
Detroit and his son, Bernhard Stroh Jr., took over after him. Prohibition obviously wasn’t good for these
beer makers, and they branched out into non-alcoholic beer and ice cream. When that ended the beer company just went
from strength to strength and its said by 1978 the Stroh’s were pumping out 6.4 million
US beer barrels to thirsty Americans. According to Forbes magazine in the 1980s
the Stroh’s were rolling in dough with a fortune of $700 million. Then came the decline. Apparently the new generation got into serious
debt after some shaky acquisitions. Then came some other mighty brewing companies
such as Miller and Coors and the Strohs got left behind. In 1999 after brewing beer for 149 years the
company was done and was taken over by other brewers. That 700 million fortune was gone. The then company president, John Stroh III
said in a statement, “Emotionally, it was an extremely difficult one to make, knowing
that it would impact our loyal employees, and recognizing that it would mean the end
of our family’s centuries old brewing tradition that had become, in essence, an important
part of our identity.” The Hartfords
So far we haven’t had anyone who lost their fortune from living what you might call a
playboy lifestyle, but with the Hartfords we do. Before we get to the big spending kid of the
family, we’ll tell you how these people got their money. A man called George Huntington Hartford had
taken over a business called The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company. When he was head of that he branched out into
grocery stores and supermarkets under the name A and P. This became massive, a name
as big as McDonald’s is today. In fact, you might hear it being called the
Walmart before there was a Walmart. In the 60s it was the biggest retailer of
any kind in the USA and in the 70s was at least the biggest chain of grocery stores. Everyone went to A and P. At its peak it had
15,709 stores in the USA and as you can imagine it made the Hartford family very, very rich. They were ranked as one of the wealthiest
families in the USA for a while. So, what could go possibly go wrong? Well, it was basically competition from more
modern stores starting in the 50s. They tried to keep up, but kept failing. Over the decades it closed 100s of its stores,
got hurt badly by the Great Recession in the 2000s and finally filed for bankruptcy in
2015. And like that, it was gone. But there was still cash around, because we
are talking about extreme wealth here. Now we can talk about the playboy. His name was Huntington Hartford and according
to various reports he squandered his massive inheritance. He hung out with the stars, bought fast cars,
big houses, lots of art works, and we are told he lost it all. That was the end of the Hartford fortune. The Kluges
This story begins with something called Metromedia, which was a media behemoth. It was taken over by German-American entrepreneur
John Kluge in the 1950s and he expanded it and made a lot of money. In the 80s he sold it to 20th Century Fox
film studio and at one point Forbes had him as the richest man in America. The billionaire later turned to philanthropy
and did things like invest $60 million to build the John W. Kluge Center. In fact, he donated millions all over the
place. So again, what could possibly go wrong. Well, it seems Mr. Kluge was never settled
in his relationships and he got married four times. Now we don’t exactly know where all his
cash went, but we do know that one person who got quite a lot of it lost it all. Her name Patricia Kluge, one of those wives. After her divorce she got her hands on a 200-acre
estate and $1 million per year in the divorce settlement. She bought a vineyard and tried to expand
it, which got in her lots of debt. There was then a real estate crash that ruined
her and she declared bankruptcy. As for her vineyard, it was bought by the
man who is now President of the United States, Donald Trump. The Vanderbilts
We will finish with one of the most well-known of wealthy families in the USA. Their story starts with a man called Cornelius
Vanderbilt, the son of American-Dutch parents. As a young boy he worked on his father’s
ferry in New York Harbor. He was only 11. At age 16 he wanted to do his own ferry business
and he borrowed a bit of cash to start his own operation taking people between Staten
Island and Manhattan. You just couldn’t hold this boy back and
he was well known for his entrepreneurship. At 19 he married his first cousin and got
busy at home as well as at work. What we mean by that is he had 13 kids. He eventually branched out into regional steamboat
lines and ocean-going steamships and after that built a railroad empire and all kinds
of other business. At the time of his death in 1877 he had amassed
$100 million. According to an inflation calculator today
that would be two billion, three hundred eighty-two million, three hundred nineteen thousand,
six hundred thirty-five dollars. Quite a bit of cash. And you know what, he left 95 percent of that
to one son called Billy because he believed this son was capable of running his empire. Billy did just that and more, doubling the
family’s wealth in his lifetime. But it seems this family just ran out of steam
when it came to making cash, and over the years the fortune dried up. Some of the Vanderbilts over the years would
do well, but none remained ultra-wealthy and that’s why some people talk about the “Fall
of the House of Vanderbilt.” Is it really that good anyway to be born rich? In a book about the family the author wrote
that one of the grandsons of the great Cornelius once said, “Inherited wealth is a real handicap
to happiness.” There’s plenty of different ways to lose
your money, and we’re betting that if we made this video again in ten years, at least
one family would have lost their fortune to something that’s becoming more and more
common every day – hacking. But you, being the intelligent Infographics
Show viewer that you are, will rest easy because you’ll have Dashlane, the one and only tool
you need to keep your personal info and digital accounts safe and secure. And in addition to that, their Dark Web monitoring
services will immediately notify you if it finds any of your personal information for
sale on an online marketplace, so you can take steps to protect yourself right away! Don’t be like millions of victims every
day, get Dashlane and keep your digital life secure right now! Head on over to
for a free 30 day trial, and if you use the coupon code ‘infographics’ you can get
10% off a premium subscription today! Do you agree with that statement? Tell us in the comments. Also, be sure to check out our other video
Why Winning The Lottery Is The Worst Thing That Can Happen To You. Thanks for watching, and as always, don’t
forget to like, share and subscribe. See you next time.


  • Reply Lyn Charles August 25, 2019 at 8:57 am

    Inherited wealth is playing sims with cheat codes. Cheat codes get boring over time.

  • Reply Aces August 25, 2019 at 9:05 am

    The Gillette’s ..


  • Reply MARKGETMONEY a August 25, 2019 at 9:50 am

    I don't know none of them

  • Reply man with no name August 25, 2019 at 10:04 am

    Who cares?? As long as these white privilege mf are dead 🙂

  • Reply Snedden Gonsalves August 25, 2019 at 10:07 am

    How the future me went broke ?

    Watching YouTube videos all day ..

  • Reply James Levi August 25, 2019 at 10:09 am

    Because karma

  • Reply theforcebewithu August 25, 2019 at 10:09 am

    I was looking at my ancestors and found out my family used to be some of the richest people in early days of the us and to where the family is now we are really broke

  • Reply Burleon August 25, 2019 at 10:10 am

    2:21 1850? Dont u mean 1950? Or why u showed a ww2 german

  • Reply Ngoc Han (Bong) NGUYEN August 25, 2019 at 10:32 am


  • Reply ChloeWade August 25, 2019 at 10:35 am

    Levi’s died when they made anti 2A remarks

  • Reply Louise Kelly August 25, 2019 at 10:45 am

    I watched up 8:39 the full vid

  • Reply a random guy August 25, 2019 at 10:47 am


  • Reply Crystal killer Beast August 25, 2019 at 10:51 am

    At least no spoiled faster in the family

  • Reply Healthy Ebola August 25, 2019 at 10:52 am

    Did I just hear 1st cousin?

  • Reply Z33-PH4NT0M August 25, 2019 at 10:53 am

    Wait Wait Wait… HOLD UP 6:30 HE MARRIED WHO? 🤦‍♂️

  • Reply Cornwallis, god and savior August 25, 2019 at 10:57 am

    And sir Gallarian Weezing is still the richest tycoon and a real gentleman

  • Reply shino88 August 25, 2019 at 11:02 am

    Buy property, live off the rent, and live comfortably.

  • Reply shino88 August 25, 2019 at 11:03 am

    Better to be born rich and lose it all, than be born poor and have nothing to lose.

  • Reply CRABSY6 August 25, 2019 at 11:29 am

    I hate rich people as they think they are better than anyone else

  • Reply Jambo 1228 August 25, 2019 at 11:31 am


  • Reply MrNobody August 25, 2019 at 11:32 am


  • Reply Sinz_Gunner August 25, 2019 at 11:40 am

    Checkout my recent YouTube video you might enjoy it❤️🥺

  • Reply Gümrük Akyüz August 25, 2019 at 11:58 am

    make a video about mustafa kemal attaturk : )

  • Reply Regina Johnson August 25, 2019 at 11:59 am

    This people are not broke. I remember when Michael Jackson was considered bankupt and broke and I felt bad for him… My mom rolled her eyes and said, "there is a complete difference be between BROKE broke and Michael Jackson broke. He will be fine." Game changer in my thought process. All these folks are alright.

  • Reply SangoProductions213 August 25, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    Yeah. Prenups are very useful.

  • Reply ausethredge August 25, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    1:53 the husband of his ex wife bailed him out??

  • Reply Fluffy Panda August 25, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    I save my money. I try to spend less as possible.

  • Reply Meaninglest August 25, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    This video must be sponsored

  • Reply Dami Bankole August 25, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    Wait what abt Lily Pulitzer???

  • Reply Pete Almond August 25, 2019 at 12:38 pm

    Why does the defendant of THE STROHS looks the spitting image of that idiot Donal Trump Jr?

  • Reply life 2033 August 25, 2019 at 12:44 pm

    They bought shark cards

  • Reply Sam Maltz August 25, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    Income tax. Straight up.

  • Reply SA MU RAI August 25, 2019 at 12:50 pm


  • Reply SA MU RAI August 25, 2019 at 12:50 pm


  • Reply SA MU RAI August 25, 2019 at 12:50 pm


  • Reply SA MU RAI August 25, 2019 at 12:50 pm


  • Reply SA MU RAI August 25, 2019 at 12:50 pm


  • Reply SA MU RAI August 25, 2019 at 12:51 pm

    Too much yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee in mine and your life

  • Reply Oisin Emerald August 25, 2019 at 12:53 pm


  • Reply Beacon Plays August 25, 2019 at 1:04 pm

    Does somebody know where the other guy who did Infographics went? I have not seen any of his Videos on this Channel for over a year know. Thanks for reply

  • Reply WeinerWard August 25, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    2:03 The Beatles reference haha

  • Reply Recce Loreto August 25, 2019 at 1:08 pm

    that bit in the end was smooth af

  • Reply oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah m August 25, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    It's clearly how they lost it there Nigerian uncle asked for a loan

  • Reply Michelle Tanner August 25, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    I wish they mentioned George Vanderbilt, the man who built biltmore?

  • Reply Bigtruckseriesreview Motorsports August 25, 2019 at 1:29 pm


  • Reply William Kendrick August 25, 2019 at 1:49 pm


  • Reply Joice Mou August 25, 2019 at 1:52 pm

    The infographic show said WE ARE INTELLIGENT!! YAY xD

  • Reply Omkar Kapse August 25, 2019 at 2:01 pm

    Make video on ISRO
    On of the successful space organization in current space race

  • Reply Omkar Kapse August 25, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    Make video on space research organisations in the world

  • Reply Aidan Mathis August 25, 2019 at 2:13 pm

    He was slick with that add😂

  • Reply phantomcruizer August 25, 2019 at 3:22 pm

    Should have mentioned the Rothchilds.

  • Reply Jurassicgamer August 25, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    New York is the New Alabama!

  • Reply Connie Wonnie August 25, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    He married his first cousin? EEEEEEWWWWW!

  • Reply Chicken Cutlet August 25, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    6:31 “YOU WHAT!?”

  • Reply sunfløwer- August 25, 2019 at 4:46 pm

    6:02 Who’s Donald Trump?

    I only know yonald trump

  • Reply nicholas ringer August 25, 2019 at 4:53 pm

    During the "German Revolution" and you guys show soldiers with submachine guns. You're actually tslking about the revolution of 1848, better known as the march revolution. Just saying that's a little confusing/conflicting imagery/wording.

  • Reply Jorge Luis Nieves Figueroa August 25, 2019 at 6:15 pm

    6:33 wait what

  • Reply Kiran Renaut August 25, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    I visited the Vanderbilt's Mansions in Rhode Island.

  • Reply Tudor_XD August 25, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    answer: drugs

  • Reply Candice Perry August 25, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    These families should save their money

  • Reply Rb Smith August 25, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    Trump always spend and file bankruptcy many times! I remembered A&P grocery stores when, I lived in Virginia for 6 years. I wondered what happened? And. It didn’t mentioned about Woolworth’s that shut down in 1997. It was fun but, I missed it.

  • Reply bursegsardaukar August 25, 2019 at 9:35 pm

    Wealth don’t last 3 generations

  • Reply NoHomo Tho August 25, 2019 at 9:37 pm

    No black people of course

  • Reply 100 subs please August 25, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    How can be rich using dashlane???
    I'm broke

  • Reply Baiatul Comentator August 25, 2019 at 10:41 pm

    but howwww

  • Reply tigercap100 August 26, 2019 at 12:04 am

    In the 1970s Strohs was the top selling beer in Michigan

  • Reply FrsCereal August 26, 2019 at 1:10 am

    Can someone give me A sMaLl LoAn oF a MiLlIoN dOlLeRs?

  • Reply Helljumper August 26, 2019 at 1:16 am

    It's disgusting how in that divorce she gets a million a year.

  • Reply John Everett August 26, 2019 at 2:49 am

    I remember A&P. My parents shopped there a lot during the '60s.

  • Reply pixel playeryt4434567 August 26, 2019 at 3:07 am


  • Reply Paint iOS August 26, 2019 at 4:23 am

    6:32 “at 19 he married his first cousin”

  • Reply Marissa Monk August 26, 2019 at 5:33 am

    anybody else notice they put the editor who always has to try out stuff and his girlfriend in the video?

  • Reply TechnicalDark August 26, 2019 at 5:44 am

    Because of taxes?

  • Reply ShotDGoldGaming August 26, 2019 at 6:38 am

    The guy who invented blue jeans wasnt american

  • Reply edirin otuburun August 26, 2019 at 7:25 am

    Ultron: But I always say, "Keep your friends rich and your enemies rich, and wait to find out which is which."

  • Reply Prince Paul Corros August 26, 2019 at 8:10 am

    "Husband of his ex-wife bailed him out"

    How i wish that the world is as harmonious as that.

  • Reply Javier Espinoza August 26, 2019 at 8:29 am

    I’m always going to be poor😤🤬😢

  • Reply BIGGVS HAVTIVS DICKVS II August 26, 2019 at 8:37 am

    Whenever I get down to my last one trillion* Sestertii, I just tax my subjects more next time around.

    *(May actually be WAY less than this outrageous personal amount; almost positive).

  • Reply Wafflethe Wafa August 26, 2019 at 8:45 am

    I'm born rich…

    But not that rich only MILLIONS

  • Reply Npc #57335899 August 26, 2019 at 10:13 am

    America. The place where billionaires become homeless and homeless become billionaires

  • Reply Gap August 26, 2019 at 10:17 am

    Perhaps intelligence is not inheritable.

  • Reply SpliX ElimZ August 26, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    More like
    Van der linde

  • Reply Kostadin Hadjidinev August 26, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    I'll just guess before watching… It's cuz they made their children's lives a paradise so since they never had to move a finger they became braindead idiots.

  • Reply Alexa Wild August 26, 2019 at 8:10 pm

    The Rothschild can’t relate

  • Reply name surname August 26, 2019 at 9:15 pm

    Being born rich is worse than you think. Your parents care more about their wealth than you, you are likely to get married to one of your own family members, your parents raise you to be arrogant and to be condescending towards everyone that isn’t nowhere as rich.

  • Reply Nick Mattio August 26, 2019 at 9:46 pm

    One of if not the wealthiest in the world? The Rothchilds

  • Reply Christine Crawford August 26, 2019 at 10:48 pm

    When you said we might not have heard of Strohs, I thought "thats ridiculous! who hasn't heard of Strohs?" But, I'm from Detroit so I guess it might make sense that people in states other than Michigan might not have heard of him. lol!

  • Reply Hex Gaming August 26, 2019 at 11:44 pm

    This makes me sad cause I want money

  • Reply Pheonix Playz August 27, 2019 at 12:11 am

    The richest family in the worlds manor got destroyed by dutch van der lindes gang

  • Reply DONKEY KONG August 27, 2019 at 3:46 am

    I changed my comment so the replies don't make any sense.

  • Reply Elika Preston August 27, 2019 at 5:09 am

    Gross factual error alert! Columbia was not the first Journalism school in the United States, Missouri was. Pulitzer offered the money in 1892, but was rejected. So, Missouri's School of Journalism (1908) has four years on Columbia's (1912).

  • Reply Eric Ventura August 27, 2019 at 2:43 pm

    I went on vacation and visited the breakers, marble house, and there main house

  • Reply Joshua R. Collins August 27, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    Its prounced pull-its-her

  • Reply Athaporn MCorp Review August 28, 2019 at 7:55 am

    The debt stays w d beer co, n the owner gets paid for their shares. He shd b able to go to McDonald’s for lunch. Someone said rich cnn dude Anderson cooper is a Vanderbilt

  • Reply Jordan Kelly August 28, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    Terrible spending habits like every other poor person in America.

  • Reply The Quintessential August 28, 2019 at 4:52 pm

    The yelling bbn professor is the best highlight

  • Reply WolfvineGaming August 31, 2019 at 4:54 am

    Is that really how you say Pulitzer?

  • Reply Aurobindo Ghosh August 31, 2019 at 10:10 am

    computers ruined them

  • Reply The Other Guy August 31, 2019 at 1:48 pm

    They lost money

  • Reply ncrdisabled Submarine vet September 1, 2019 at 12:36 am

    i wish i had that money

  • Leave a Reply