Daniel Keith Ludwig: Reclusive billionaire
The stooped figure often walked from his Fifth Avenue Manhattan apartment to his Sixth Avenue office wearing cheap shoes and eyeglasses, and a plastic raincoat when it rained, as indistinguishable from the multitudes on the sidewalk as a blade of grass in a well-groomed lawn. Even though he was a billionaire, Daniel K. Ludwig flew economy class, carried his own baggage, kept to himself and avoided small talk with as much zeal as he avoided the press. "I always thought he was some kind of bank executive," a neighbor recalled, "you know, a salary guy, maybe forty grand, nobody very important." Yet Ludwig was a billionaire, his assets remarkable as much for their diversity as for their value. He granted few interviews, one in 1957 to Fortune magazine. The reporter concluded: "Ludwig's most notable characteristic is a lifelong penchant for keeping his mouth shut." Time magazine complained that Ludwig was "so publicity-shy that almost nobody knows what he is up to."