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Meet Hetty Green: The World’s Most Stingy Woman

Hetty Green, renowned as the most miserly woman in history, amassed a wealth estimated at over $2.3 billion. Born in America in 1835, she was the only daughter of a prosperous businessman.

Green inherited a fortune of $7.5 million from her father and moved to New York at twenty-one to invest in Wall Street, earning the nickname “The Wicked Witch of Wall Street.”

Despite marrying a millionaire, Green lived frugally, surviving on leftover cakes and broken biscuits from grocery stores, and arguing daily for a free bone for her dog. Known for her extreme thriftiness, she sewed her own undergarments at sixteen and wore them until her death.

Green’s miserly habits extended to her lifestyle; she avoided spending money to the point of never using hot water and wearing the same black dress until it was threadbare. Her diet consisted of a two-cent pie.

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Her parsimony had severe consequences, including her son’s leg amputation due to delayed treatment as she sought free medical care.

Hetty Green died in 1916 at the age of 81 in New York City. Her death, caused by a stroke following a dispute with her maid over a wage increase, earned her a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “most stingy person in the world.”

Despite her frugality, Green’s children did not inherit her miserly ways. Her daughter, in stark contrast, used part of the inherited fortune to build a free hospital, demonstrating generosity absent in their mother’s life.

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