Russell Sage: Few could play the money game like him
On July 21, 1902, 86-year-old Russell Sage tried to board a trolley. It began to move, knocking him down. He took a hard fall, bounced up and nearly sprinted back to his Spartan office intent on doing what he did so often--sue! People were stunned--not by his recovery, but the fact that he was taking a trolley, for Sage claimed he couldn’t afford public transportation. He was only worth about $100 million. He played his role as a miser with relish, donning serge jackets with missing buttons, threadbare vests, and cheap pants. But his appearance belied an iron-clad mind; few crossed swords with him, and those who did paid a steep price. But Sage was not interested in the trappings of success, only in the game, and at the game of making money, few were his equals.