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It wasn’t just excess,” says a friend.
Reliance Group negotiated a transaction to be sold to Leucadia National in 2000 for stock and the assumption of debt.  Leasco grew rapidly, and in 1965 went public.. Anne, on the other hand, has alleged in court documents that a letter from her submitted to the court by her sons’ attorney—suggesting that she would forgive the loans—was phony. In 1986, Steinberg took Reliance public again, at $10 a share. From the outset, insurance was not Steinberg’s real interest. And what lay beneath that gilded life? “Especially after the stroke,” says a friend, “it was Gayfryd who tried to put some limit on what Saul spent. To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. After the auction, Gayfryd “just retreated,” says her friend. “It’s very difficult for normal people to understand. “She really cleaned him up.” “He adores her, he has so much respect for her,” says another friend. Like the Rockefellers, I’ll own the world.
The couple, friends insist, have changed.
“The myth of Saul Steinberg was much greater than the reality,” says a well-known Wall Street banker who knows Steinberg. Reliance had been in business 150 years, having been established in 1817 to provide fire insurance. At one point, *The King Drinks,*a massive work by the 17th-century Flemish painter Jacob Jordaens, now being sold by Feigen and thought to be worth some $6 million, hung over the sideboard. It will specialize in tabletop products, including dishes, flatware, and décorations de table. consultant at the time and now in the antiques business. Shortly before the July 4 holiday in 1995, Saul Steinberg, then 55, suffered a stroke.
“She was very nice,” the woman commented afterward, “but she’ll learn in time that she doesn’t have to bring out her artillery in the afternoon.”, Unlike New Orleans society, New York’s—which is less rigid and was being infiltrated by many of those who had become rich in the 80s stock-market boom— did not shut Gayfryd out.
“Gayfryd would stick notes on the back door that said things like ‘Brush your teeth or die,’” he remembers.  The attempt failed.
The next day it was reported that Carl Icahn had bought one quarter of Reliance’s overdue bank debt, a development that could complicate Reliance’s negotiations with its creditors. It was very smart, because people would find out about it anyway,” one New Yorker recalls. “Here is a guy who wanted to be accepted and be rich and be a patron, and he did it,” says a financier.  He has one brother, Robert Steinberg, and two sisters, Roni Sokoloff and Lynda Jurist. Like many socialites, Gayfryd adopted a charity. , In 1989, Steinberg hosted an opulent 50th birthday party for himself, that included live models depicting his favorite Renaissance paintings. His most famous greenmail assault, on Disney in 1984, in which he was backed by $1.5 billion in junk bonds, made him some $32 million. Gayfryd had filed for divorce several weeks before, in early March. , In 2000 Steinberg donated a large painting, The Death of Adonis (1614), by Peter Paul Rubens, to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. It appears that Gayfryd at least still has her gilded memories—the receptions for 150, the intimate dinners for 50, all that fabulous porcelain, silver, and crystal—and she’s going to make them work for her.
Steinberg met his first wife, Barbara Herzog, in high-school, and they would have three children before divorcing in 1974: Nicholas owns comic-book stores in Philadelphia. In New York, Gayfryd called Feigen, who invited her to join him at a dinner at Saul’s. On February 29—just days after Steinberg sold his apartment—Reliance Group Holdings reported a loss of $311 million. backed down and made Drexel its banker. The lovely sauceboats, valued at between $4,000 and $6,000, were probably the simplest pieces at the auction. That Steinberg was having problems, however, was clear. That May, Johnson, who did return to New Orleans, was sentenced to 14 months in prison. Julius owned Ideal Rubber Products, a company that manufactured such things as kitchen dish racks, and his children—Saul, Robert, Roni, and Lynda—grew up in comfort. Steinberg was 29 when he took over Reliance.
I don’t know if Saul will.”. Saul was by far the most promising and ambitious of the four children, “his mother’s angel, who could do no wrong,” says a friend of Barbara Steinberg’s.
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