Friday, March 15, 2013
Marjorie Merriweather Post was born with a proverbial silver spoon in her mouth on March 15, 1887, in Springfield, Illinois. The daughter of C.W. Post, founder of Postum Cereal Company (known for Grape-Nuts), she inherited the company at age 27 when Dad died. She embarked on four marriages starting in 1905. Her second husband was financier E.F. Hutton, and with him she bought the makers of Jell-O and Birdseye Frozen Foods, turning Postum into General Foods Corporation in 1929. Her last husband was Herbert May of May Department Stores. She was by far the wealthiest woman in America, owning, among many things, the world’s largest privately owned sea-going yacht (Sea Cloud) and a pair of 20-carat diamond earrings that belonged to Marie Antoinette. Her many homes included the 115-room Mar-A-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, and the vast, lavish Camp Topridge in the Adirondacks.