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Huguette Clark, Millionaire and Recluse, Dies


FILE - This Aug. 11, 1930 photo shows Mrs. Huguette Clark Gower, daughter of the late Sen. William A. Clark of Montana, a copper magnate, in Reno, Nev. Clark, the 104-year-old heiress to a Montana copper fortune who once lived in the largest apartment on Fifth Avenue, died Tuesday. (AP1930)

Huguette Clark, a 104-year-old recluse and heiress to a copper mining fortune, died Tuesday at a New York hospital, a spokesman for her lawyer confirmed to

“Madame Clark’s passing is a sad event for everyone who loved and respected her over the years,” Michael McKeon, the spokesman, said in a statement. “She died as she wanted, with dignity and privacy.”

Clark, whose father was the second richest man in the U.S. in the early 1900s, died at Beth Israel Hospital where she has reportedly been staying since at least September 2010.

Despite her wealth, and estates in New York, Connecticut and California, she became a recluse and spent more than 20 years living in New York hospitals with a collection of dolls, the New York Post reported.

Erin Sigl, who along with her brother John Thompson, own the Copper King Mansion in Butte, Mont. William Andrews Clark, Huguette’s father, built the property from 1884 to 1888 after he headed out West during the gold rush where “ a few people made a fortune, he was one of them,” Thompson said.

There are daily tours at the red brick building, but there’s little evidence that Huguette ever lived there.

“Her father did,” Thompson said. “That’s for sure. As for Huguette, I once saw a picture of her when she was 5-years-old sitting outside on this porch in a white dress holding a doll. I’m still trying to get that picture.”

People who met her in later years said she was living like a child, obsessed with dolls and dollhouses, the Post reported.

There was later speculation about how her millions were being handled.

Clark's lawyer and accountant are being investigated by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office for their management of Clark's $500 million fortune, the Post reported.

The district attorney's office would not confirm the report to

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