Rudolph Spreckels: Rise of a rebel son
Claus Spreckels, the Sugar King, had four boys: John, Claus Augusts (Gus), Rudolph and Adolph, each an icon of his time. The boys were strong-willed, perhaps on the same level with their father. So it is not surprising that a major rift would develop within the family. John, in partnership with Adolph, was instrumental in building San Diego into a modern metropolis. He also formed the Oceanic Steamship Co. and had extensive industrial holdings. John and Adolph were loyal to their father, so much so, that Adolph tried to assassinate Michael de Young, owner of the San Francisco Chronicle, for writing bad press about Dad. De Young barely survived. A jury found Adolph not guilty of attempted murder on the grounds of self-defense; a liberal sprinkling of perjury helped.