This Woman Dominated Wall Street in the 1800s

This Woman Dominated Wall Street in the 1800s
Illustration of Hetty Green by Cloudy Thurstag

Hetty Green
1834–1916

Known as the “Witch of Wall Street,” Hetty Green was the richest woman in the United States in the late 19th century. Raised primarily by her father and grandfather, they instilled an understanding and appreciation of finance in her from a young age, reading her stock reports before bed instead of fairytales. During her life, she amassed an astonishing amount of wealth through wise investments and shrewd spending. At the time, women had no control over their own money, but before marrying her husband, Edward, she made him renounce any right to her finances. However, after 18 years of marriage, she discovered that he was accessing her money through loans from banks. After she found out, Green moved her money to a different bank and kicked Edward out.

“A good businesswoman is often sharper than a good businessman.” —Hetty Green

Cloudy Thurstag is a Berlin-based art lover turned illustrator and art director.

This feature originally appeared in the Money issue.

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