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Alan Bond
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    (April 22, 1938-June 5, 2015)
    Born in London, United Kingdom
    Emigrated to Australia with his family at age 12
    Founded Bond Corporation (1959)
    Involved in property development, brewing, mining and broadcasting
    Died of complications following heart valve replacement surgery
    He once showed an ex-mistress a picture of the woman he was currently seeing and enthusiastically declared, 'She's just like you, only younger.'
    He set an art auction record by buying Van Gogh's 'Irises' for $54 million (1987).
    However, it was later revealed that the auction house, Sotheby's, had loaned him half the purchase price and kept possession of the painting until he repaid the loan -- which he never did.
    Art dealers called the sale an attempt (admittedly a successful one) to artificially inflate prices for art.
    He went under in the largest bankruptcy in Australian history, with personal debts of $1.8 billion (1992).
    His family settled with his creditors for $12 million, or about half a cent per dollar (1995).
    He served four years in jail (1997-2000) after being convicted of fraud for using his position at Bell Resources to siphon off $1.2 billion in an unsuccessful attempt to prop up Bond Corporation.
    A business associate said, 'He's amazingly persuasive.... You go into his office wanting to kill him and you come out thinking that maybe he's right after all.'
    He bankrolled several challenges for yachting's America's Cup, including the victorious Australia II (1983).
    His daughter Susanne, an equestrian show jumper, died of an accidental overdose of prescription medication (2000).
    He made a financial comeback investing in mining in Africa, with a net worth of $265 million in 2008.

Credit: C. Fishel

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