His most famous greenmail assault, on Disney in 1984, in which he was backed by $1.5 billion in junk bonds, made him some $32 million. gayfryd mcnabb maclean johnson. Insurance companies have lots of capital, which is just what computer leasing companies need. (Steinberg eventually paid Woodmere when his finances improved.)

“It’s something women don’t understand—that being coy and demure isn’t necessarily useful.” There was an aloofness about her, as though she was not entirely at peace with the life she had worked so hard to create.

She’s truly brave.

backed down and made Drexel its banker. Far from signaling a reformed Saul, these moves, says one man who worked with him, were necessary because “the market at that time was getting tired of Reliance being a private financing vehicle for the Steinbergs.”.

By this time the family owned just under 50 percent of the company. Gayfryd also converted to Judaism prior to their marriage. Management attempted to sell the company. From the outset, insurance was not Steinberg’s real interest. The Ideal Leasing Company, as it was first called, was based on the ultimately very profitable assumption that as IBM’s industrial computers became obsolete ever sooner, corporations would pay a lot of money to rent instead of buy them. [29][30], In 2000 Steinberg donated a large painting, The Death of Adonis (1614), by Peter Paul Rubens, to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. In addition, Saul and other family members had loans totaling $2.7 million from Continental Illinois Bank, which collapsed in 1984.

At one point Lynda Jurist got a $400,000 interest-free loan from Reliance. The apartment, only part of the original Rockefeller home, which had consisted of 90 rooms, had been on the market for some time, part of the estate of Rockefeller’s second wife, Martha Baird Rockefeller.

“Gayfryd sort of took over,” recalls one friend. Steinberg could have eased the pressure by increasing the company’s equity, but that would have diluted his family’s control.

[14] The Steinberg name is highly visible at Wharton, most notably attached to Steinberg-Dietrich Hall, which served as the main undergraduate building, containing classrooms, lounges, computer labs, and departmental offices. [17], In 1989 Steinberg hosted an opulent 50th birthday party for himself, that included live models depicting his favorite Renaissance paintings.

In June, according to filings, he pledged nearly everything in his possession in another arrangement with the bank, although he denies he took out a second loan. To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. “It takes guts to buy those paintings and that furniture. Steinberg was born to a Jewish family on August 13, 1939, and grew up in Brooklyn, New York the son of Julius and Anne Cohen Steinberg.

Reliance had been in business 150 years, having been established in 1817 to provide fire insurance. The corporate jet, a five-bedroom Boeing 727 with its own silver and crystal and $9,000 cashmere blankets, was heavily used by the Steinberg family. Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy. Suddenly, Saul and Gayfryd and their Wall Street friends were photographed socializing with such authors as Mailer, Allen Ginsberg, Joyce Carol Oates, Jerzy Kosinski, and Tom Wolfe. Said to be worth some $50 million—a pittance in this era of 25-year-old dot-com billionaires but a huge fortune back then—Steinberg was living with his first wife, Barbara, in a 29-room mansion on Long Island. It was a surprising choice, touching in a way. With only one child left at home, she told friends, her family no longer needed a 34-room apartment. In 1982, in addition to his $2.7 million compensation package, Saul took out a personal loan of $36.4 million from Reliance; his brother, Robert, borrowed $7.7 million, and Bruce Sokoloff borrowed $3.2 million.

Steinberg paid a mere $275,000 for it. The scale of that apartment was enormous.” And it very much reflected how the Steinbergs wanted to be seen. “They’ve been misrepresented in the press, in part due to their naïveté,” says another friend angrily. Despite Gayfryd’s efforts she and her husband were not welcomed into New Orleans society. It wasn’t yet Chase, which had been run by the Rockefellers (and merged with Chemical in 1995), but it was still one of the Waspiest pillars of corporate America. I think he would have liked to be on the board, and he wasn’t.” Even though over the years Steinberg has given generously to the Metropolitan, he never gained entry into what is probably New York’s most exclusive social club. “Here is a guy who wanted to be accepted and be rich and be a patron, and he did it,” says a financier. That also failed. [31] The apartment had once belonged to John D. Rockefeller, Jr.. Steinberg died on December 7, 2012, at the age of 73, on the very same day as his mother, Anne Steinberg. Reliance, under pressure from a downturn in the property and casualty insurance industry, reported heavy losses, and Steinberg’s paper fortune of $90 million suddenly dropped to $8 million. The prospect of its being taken over by a 29-year-old who had no banking experience was understandably scary.

“[Leveraged- buyout king] Henry Kravis did it, too, but he was more low-key and smooth. She never complains.” Says one woman, “I go to Sette Mezzo [a fashionable Lexington Avenue restaurant] and occasionally see Saul and Gayfryd there. A lot of people preferred that to [some socialites’] stories about convent schools they never went to, mispronouncing their names,” he says. “A lot of those social wives are very sweet, but not the sharpest knives in the drawer.” Gayfryd was serious and disciplined.

Saul Steinberg did, early on. [3] In 2000, Steinberg's mother, Anne Steinberg, sued Saul for $5 million that she says he borrowed from her in 1997 and promised to repay on December 1999. She also sued her son Robert for $1.5 million, a debt that also came due in December.[6]. In 2000 Steinberg sold his apartment at 740 Park Avenue in Manhattan to financier Stephen A. Schwarzman of The Blackstone Group for a reported $37 million.

Shortly after Green Tree sued him and Drexel, Steinberg sold his shares back to the company for a profit of $26 million, and the suit was dropped. [12] However, this transaction fell apart in July, 2000. “Everything they did was splendiferous.”. Gayfryd had decided that the two of them would go to a Halloween party dressed as Friar Tuck and Maid Marian, “and there we were,” Martzell recalls, “talking about awful things, and there was Gayfryd, on her knees, hemming his monk’s outfit. The next day it was reported that Carl Icahn had bought one quarter of Reliance’s overdue bank debt, a development that could complicate Reliance’s negotiations with its creditors. He was so funny-looking and so full of himself,” this man recalls.

He was listed as a member of the class of 1959, although some accounts have said that he graduated in two years at age 18. “Especially after the stroke,” says a friend, “it was Gayfryd who tried to put some limit on what Saul spent. Barely six months later, Reliance was in serious trouble. He decided to make everyone rich, to make all the ships rise. Some say the trouble began in 1982, when Steinberg took Reliance private, buying the shares he didn’t already own—nearly 50 percent of the company—in a leveraged buyout financed by $550 million of junk bonds. He made his first takeover attempt, of O’Sullivan Rubber Co., when he was a college senior, although he didn’t have the money to complete the deal. Steinberg was age 29 when he took over Reliance. But what has made things harder for Saul and Gayfryd, friends say, is how Saul’s family has treated him since the troubles began. People say all the extravagance was her idea. That amounted to one-fourth of Reliance’s profits for the first half of 1991, which were wiped out in the third quarter. But many of the Steinbergs’ friends do not know where all their money went, or, for that matter, where it had come from. To be sure, in 1974 and 1975, Steinberg was struggling. “If the debt had been due five years from now, they may have had a chance to work out their problems,” says James Auden, a senior director at Fitch, the bond-rating service. “Saul was not one of these men who made a fortune and had nothing in him,” says one friend. He’s funny and congenial and rather cozy,” says an art expert cultivated by the Steinbergs.