Diamond Jim Brady

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Birthday
12, 1856
Birthplace
New York
Death Date
Apr 13, 1917 (60)
Birth Sign
Leo
Birthday
12, 1856
Birthplace
New York
Death Date
Apr 13, 1917 (60)

About

Remembered for his tremendous appetite for both food and diamonds (he dined extravagantly and collected more than two million dollars worth of jewels), this Gilded Age railway businessman and stock market investor was also a well-known philanthropist who donated a large sum of money to Baltimore's Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Before Fame

After beginning his professional life as a bellhop, he worked his way up the ladder at the New York Central Railroad.

Trivia

A post-mortem examination revealed that his stomach was six times larger than that of the typical person, a finding that was not inconsistent with his legendary eating habits.

Family Life

Born James Buchanan Brady, he grew up in New York City in a family of modest means. Though he never married, he was romantically involved for many years with actress and vocalist Lillian Russell.

Associated With

On the night of the 1896 presidential election, he placed bets on candidates William McKinley (the eventual victor) and William Jennings Bryan that unethically won him the modern equivalent of five million dollars.