heiresses

Marchesa Luisa Casati

While many have admired heiress Casati over the years for her life led entirely based on her aesthetics, when you examine her biography, you find a woman who was incredibly selfish and was even described by close friends as megalomaniacal.

Katharine Dexter McCormick: The Money Behind the Pill

Katharine McCormick made her mark in two different areas: She was a big part of the movement for women's suffrage in the U.S. And, she was a huge - and for a while, almost entirely forgotten - part of the development of oral contraceptives.

Joe Carstairs, Part 2

As Carstair's speedboat racing career faltered, the heiress traveled the world and found other diversions, until she decided to purchase an island in the Bahamas. Then she turned Whale Cay into a kingdom of her own design.

Joe Carstairs, Part 1

Marion Carstairs, who preferred the name Joe, was an early 20th-century heiress who bucked traditional gender roles and for a time, hid her wealth from even her closest friends. She also became a very successful speedboat racer.

Ruth Harkness and the First Panda in the U.S.

In the 1930s a New York socialite had a dream. She wanted to be the first person to capture a panda from Asia and return to the western world with it. Her quest had a significant impact on the way the Western world viewed wild animals. Read the show notes here.

Frances Glessner Lee and Tiny Forensics

Many forensic investigation standards of today have roots in the work of a Chicago heiress who was more interested in crime scenes than high society. Her most notable contribution to the field came in the form of tiny homicide dioramas. Read the show notes here.

When gold mine heiress Louise Boyd staged her first Arctic expedition in the 1920s, she hunted polar bears with aristocrats. Yet she also met other explorers who encouraged her in more scientific pursuits. Listen in and learn more about her expeditions.

Recently deceased heiress Huguette Clark was reclusive -- she hadn't been photographed since 1930. Her father was the wealthy William Andrews Clark, whose political battles started the War of the Copper Kings. Tune in to learn more about the Clark family.