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WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST'S FEAR OF DEATH


William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951) was one of the wealthiest and most powerful men of the 20th century. At the height of his media career he was worth over $500 million. He built an enormous castle in the hills near San Simeon, California. At more than 90,000 square feet, it took 28 years to build. It is one of the largest, most opulent homes in America, rivaling the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina. Hearst often invited the Hollywood elite to visit him in his castle. It was a mark of a celebrity's true star status if they were invited to Hearst's castle for a weekend. When guests arrived they were informed of one very strict rule. They were warned if they broke this rule, they would be immediately escorted off the property and never invited to return.


Whenever the guests were in Hearst's presence, there was one word they could never utter: DEATH. Hearst had a horrible fear of death. He was so afraid of it that when one of the palm trees at San Simeon died unexpectedly, the gardeners painted its leaves green until it could be replaced at a time when Hearst was gone. This wealthy tycoon did everything he could to ignore death. But even with that amount of wealth and power he couldn't prevent death. On August 14, 1951 he died and then he had to face judgment.


(From a sermon by Fred Markes, Most Important Thing, 8/30/2011)

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