LEONA HELMSLEY (1920-2007)

“The Queen of Mean”


Leona and her dog Trouble, late 1990s

Born Lena Mindy Rosenthal to a middle-class Jewish family, Leona eventually rose to sit atop a huge New York real estate empire, by marrying Harry Helmsley in 1972, after a checkered and scandalous past. Their holdings included the Flatiron Building, the Helmsley Palace Hotel and the Empire State Building. Leona led a tumultuous life and was known as “The Queen of Mean” for the way she treated her staff and subordinates. Convicted on tax evasion charges, she spent 19 months in prison in 1992. She died lonely and secluded in Greenwich, Connecticut at the age of 86, leaving a multi-billion dollar estate, including 12 million to her dog, Trouble.

(This presentation is approximately 20-30 minutes)

Leana and Harry

Leona and Harry Helmsley

Leona and Coffee

A famous advertisement for the Helmsley Palace Hotel, early 1980s

Leona and Dershowitz

Leona and attorney Alan Dershowitz, 1991