Doris Duke, the "richest girl in the world" as she was called by a N.Y. Times reporter, inherited a vast fortune at age twelve when her father, James Buchanan Duke, died. Her father was the founder of the tobacco cartel responsible for the sales of 80% of all tobacco products in the U.S. At his death she also came into possession a number of estates,mansions,farms and other properties. One of her favorite homes was in Newport, RI where she lived in the summers and, after her mother's death, began to prefer over all others. She lived a wild life, using cocaine, LSD, drinking a great deal and having many lovers. In 1966 she crashed her car into her decorator, Eduardo Tirella, while he was opening the iron gates of her property. He was crushed to death. The police (whether bought off or just intimidated by her family's power) never investigated. She was never charged although the police chief resigned shortly thereafter under mysterious circumstances.
This incident is fully detailed in another book which I recommend. A Death in Newport.In the months that followed the death of Tirella, Doris changed a great deal. Whereas earier she had neglected her adopted home, now she launched the Newport Restoration Foundation and persuaded Jackie Kennedy to serve as vice-president. She spent millions in restoring historic homes in the area. In addition, the Cliff Walk which she had previously blockaded from her home and had patrolled by dogs, was opened up and re-paved so that tourists and local fishman could have access.This book gives us a balanced portrait of the contradictory and troublesome life of an hieress who had everything except happiness.