Each time the media trot out a story about a hoarder it usually concerns a poor old person who could not throw things away. This overlooks a large part of the truth. Some rich and famous people have been the biggest hoarders in modern history. Top up your favourite beverage, settle down and prepare to be amazed.
Thomas Jefferson – Founding Father of the United States
Jefferson was a logical fellow and a descendant of British aristocracy which do not always go well together. He wrote the Declaration of Independence and famously said “The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers”.
However he did both. Would you believe Thomas Jefferson was a closet hoarder? He had thousands of books he sold to Congress. Then he started all over again.
Ida Mayfield – Wealthy Socialite Turned Recluse
When Ida Mayfield became bored with society she locked herself into a two-bedroom apartment, and only spent a few dollars a day on food she ordered in. Social security winkled her out after she turned 92.
The ‘poor old dear’ had 50 $10,000 bills pinned inside her nightgown, and a fortune in diamond jewellery stashed away in empty cracker boxes.
William Randolph Hearst – Collector of Buildings
A career as a sensationalist journalist-cum-newspaper owner taught William he could do anything with money. He didn’t have time for politics, remarking “A politician will do anything to keep his job, even become a patriot.
So William became a collector of buildings, whole buildings in fact. He also hoarded building bric-a-brac: doorknockers, warming pans, tile stoves, musical instruments, pipes, and lanterns you name it that he sent direct to storage.
The Collyer Brothers – Death by Hoarding
These two gentlemen lived with their mother until she died. They stayed in touch with society until one went blind and the other quit work to care for him. Somewhere along the line they started hoarding until their hundred tons of treasures were stacked to the ceilings.
They ended up digging tunnels through the debris to get to the loo, fetch a beer, whatever. They died after a tunnel collapsed on them. The council demolished the house and made a park over the foundations named after them.
Andy Warhol – Old Pizza Crusts in Original Boxes
This pop artist was a classic, often writing to friends complaining he could never throw things away. After he died, his executors found those old pizza boxes piled high although we doubt they sampled them!
Warhol was fading from the media limelight by then. He spent his declining years packing half a million objects into boxes he called ‘time capsules’. Would that be a hoarder’s diary?
Stranger than Fiction – Weirder than Truth
That was quite a revelation, wasn’t it? Hoarding is no respected of persons or status. Some hoarders begin with the best intentions in the world and then things get out of hand.
Why not bookmark this page to start your own hoard of interesting things you’ll always find on these pages? We’d love it if you came back again.