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Talk:Diamond Jim Brady

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 Definition Late 19th-century American railroad equipment salesman and bon vivant, famous for his enormous appetite. [d] [e]

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 Definition Late 19th-century American railroad equipment salesman and bon vivant, famous for his enormous appetite. [d] [e]

Known for his penchant for jewels, especially diamonds, he collected precious stones and jewelry in excess of US$ 2 million (adjusted for 2005 dollars, approx. $50 million).

Brady's enormous appetite and resultant girth were as legendary as his wealth. It was not unusual for Brady to eat enough food for ten people at a sitting. George Rector, owner of a favorite restaurant, described Brady as "the best 25 customers I ever had."[1] A typical Brady breakfast would be: eggs, pancakes, pork chops, cornbread, fried potatoes, hominy, muffins, and a beefsteak. For refreshment, a gallon of orange juice—or "golden nectar", as he called his favorite drink. Lunch might be two lobsters, deviled crabs, clams, oysters and beef, with a few pies for dessert. The usual evening meal began with an appetizer of two or three dozen oysters, six crabs, and a few servings of green turtle soup, followed by a main course of two whole ducks, six or seven lobsters, a sirloin steak, two servings of terrapin and a host of vegetables. For dessert, the gourmand enjoyed pastries and a two pound box of candy.

"Diamond Jim" is also known for his romantic association with singer Lillian Russell, a famously voluptuous beauty of the era. It is said that her eating habits were a perfect match for his own.

A gregarious man, Brady was a mainstay of Broadway nightlife. He often dined with popular society. After further investments in the stock market, Brady accumulated wealth estimated at $12 million. He was also known for being the first person in New York City to own an automobile (in 1895).

Brady donated a significant sum in 1912 to

Death

He died in his sleep on April 13, 1917 of a stroke.[2]

Brady had never married, and after his death his estate was distributed to many institutions, most notably New York Hospital. When his body was examined, doctors discovered that his stomach was six times larger than that of an average person.

Legacy

He was the inspiration for a 1935 film written by Preston Sturges entitled Diamond Jim.

References

  1. Diamond Jim Brady
  2. Diamond Jim Brady Dies While Asleep. Bulk of Fortune of from $10,000,000 to $20,000,000 May Go to Johns Hopkins Hospital. Jewels for Metropolitan Museum. A Keen Man of Business. $200,000 for Johns Hopkins., New York Times, April 14, 1917. Retrieved on 2008-12-19. “James Buchanan Brady of New York died this morning from a heart attack at the age of 61. He literally slept into death, for his constant attendant had no warning of the fatal stroke.”

Further reading

  • History's True Glutton or a Tall Tale? New York Times 12/30/08 [1]