Heir to a grocery fortune who blew his inheritance on women and dreams.
Huntington Hartford, who died on May 19 aged 97, was born into one of the wealthiest families in America and inherited a $90 million fortune at the age of 12, but blew it on a series of quixotic artistic and commercial ventures and expensive wives.
Born in New York on April 18 1911, he was named George Huntington Hartford after his grandfather, a Maine tea merchant who had founded the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (A&P) in 1859. His father, Edward, had little to do with the family business; it was Huntington’s uncles, John and George, who built A&P into the world’s leading retail grocery business.
Huntingdon, who became the beneficiary of a $1.5 million annual income on his grandfather’s death in 1917, was brought up by English governesses in a fabulous apartment on Fifth Avenue, on a plantation in South Carolina and an estate in Connecticut. His father died in 1922, leaving his shareholdings to his two children, Josephine, who went on to marry into the grandest circles, and Huntington, then under the care of his mother, Henrietta.