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Lance Reventlow
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Heir
    (February 24, 1936-July 24, 1972)
    Born in London, United Kingdom
    Only child of Woolworth’s heiress Barbara Hutton
    Inherited $25 million on his 21st birthday
    Race car driver
    Formed Reventlow Automobiles
    Built the first Formula 1 race car in America, the Scarab
    Married actress Jill St. John (1960-63) and ex-Mouseketeer Cheryl Holdridge (1964-72)
    Died in a plane crash outside Aspen, Colorado, while scouting locations for developing a ski resort
    His full name was the unwieldy Lance George William Detlev Graf von Haugwitz-Hardenberg-Reventlow.
    He would tell friends, ‘So you were born with brown eyes. I was born with money. It just makes life convenient.’
    He lied about his age to get into races.
    The Scarab was also the last rear-engine Formula 1 race car, resulting in his failing to qualify for most of the European races he entered.
    Jill St. John sued for divorce on grounds of mental cruelty, claiming that he called her ‘stupid and incompetent’ in front of others and bullied her into taking part in dangerous sports.
    He became the subject of a bitter custody battle between his parents, with his father, Danish Count Kurt von Haugwitz-Hardenberg-Reventlow, gaining custody until he reached school age, after which custody went to his mother.
    He was raised mostly by governesses.
    When he was 21, he was asked to chose between American, British or Danish citizenship; he chose American and said, ‘I thought it over for a full twenty seconds.’
    He was good friends with fellow race car enthusiast James Dean.

Credit: C. Fishel


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