William Randolph Hearst, the only child of a multimillionaire
goldrush rich father and sophisticated schoolteacher mother

 (more than 20 years younger than her husband), had the
finest education money could buy – private tutors,
private schools, grand tours of Europe, Harvard

 college.  His parent’s great wealth and over a million
acres of prime California real estate eventually

became his.
Hearst’s passion for the spotlight led him to own,
manage and operate more than 30 daily newspapers.
His appetite for power led him to unsuccessful
bids for New York mayor and governor.
His life story is thinly disguised in the 1941
movie “Citizen Kane.” 

Hearst’s home on the hill, the Hearst Castle, now
a museum, is a decorating nightmare.  A cultural
mish mosh of what he considered the most opulent
sculptures, paintings and decor in the world, he reportedly
built his home in order to move his bulging collection
of artwork and furniture out of warehouses.
The grand front entrance looks
deceptively delicate, but the entire
castle is made of steel reinforced
concrete.  56 bedrooms and 61
bathrooms, hot and cold running
chefs, gardeners, butlers,
maintenance staff and housekeepers.
Meals were served family style at a long table, with
Hearst at the center, seated next to the guest of the moment.
Walt Disney once had dinner sitting next to A.P. Giannini,
CEO of Bank of America, and described the concept
of a park called “Disneyland”, which Bank of America

The movie theater was entertainment for the Hollywood
elite houseguests, including Clark Gable, Charlie Chaplin,
 Cary Grant and Greta Garbo.   If there was an
 empty seat, staff were instructed to fill in.  Just
 imagine the butler getting to sit next to Barbara Stanwyck!
All the rage in the 1940’s, these lamps had shades
made of indenture contracts.  Indentured servitude
was a labor contract whereby people paid for their
passage to the colonies in North America.
The Roman pool, designed after
the Roman baths, was built under
the tennis courts AFTER the courts
were built!  The walls are decorated
floor to ceiling with 1″ glass tiles
with fused gold inside.  Hearst
didn’t like the pool, because of the
lack of light.  It became the staff
Tennis was extremely popular with Hearst’s house guests,
so popular that lights were set up for night games.
The glass blocks in the court were designed to allow
light into the swimming pool below (apparently
not enough for Hearst)!