When globalization pioneer and reclusive billionaire Larry Hillblom disappeared in 1995, he left behind an international fiasco that is still unraveling today.
King Larry is a three-part journey, beginning with the early years of a mercurial young man who grew up fatherless on a peach farm outside of Fresno, California. Months after graduating from Boalt Hall School of Law in 1969, Hillblom cofounded DHL--three years before FedEx was formed--and it quickly became the fastest-growing corporation in history.
Hillblom's expatriate life began twelve years later, when he retreated to a small tax haven in the Western Pacific. There, James Scurlock reveals, Hillblom led the resistance to American meddling in the Mariana Islands, rewrote the tax code and real-estate laws, and became a Supreme Court justice--among other unlikely exploits.
Hillblom's voracious appetite for underage prostitutes is another facet of his convoluted story, illuminating the realities of the sex and human-trafficking industries in Southeast Asia. But Hillblom's amoral, thrill-seeking nature finally caught up with him when his vintage seaplane disappeared off the coast of Anatahan in May 1995, and he left behind an estate worth close to a billion dollars. Weeks later, five impoverished women and their attorneys came forward to challenge Hillblom's will, his former business partners, and his alma mater, provoking a legal battle that has raged for over fifteen years.
From Howard Hughes to Mark Zuckerberg, the public has always been fascinated by larger-than-life entrepreneurs and their eccentricities. Now, James Scurlock engages us with the riveting story of one such man, who dressed in rags and lived in relative obscurity, but who has had a profound and lasting influence--a pioneer who shrank the globe, toppled the postal monopoly, anticipated electronic mail, and, most important, envisioned a world driven by economics rather than by laws.
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January 01, 2012
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