Popular personal-finance guru Suze Orman revealed last week that money problems did her father in, said Susan Dominus in The New York Times Magazine. “My father killed himself—on Father’s Day,” she said in an interview. Burdened with financial worries, he died, Orman said, “a defeated man.” That claim might surprise readers who read Orman’s first best-seller, 1997’s The Nine Steps to Financial Freedom. In that book, she wrote with a touch of admiration about her father, who once escaped a fire at his takeout chicken stand—only to dash back into the flames to rescue the cash box. That story ended with his bouncing back and reaching financial security late in his life. “Who knows what I said in the book?” Orman says now.
Orman’s father’s death wouldn’t have been classified as a suicide, said Dominus. He died, almost 30 years ago, of heart failure. But Orman thinks he willed it. Though he suffered a serious heart condition and had been using a wheelchair, he chose Father’s Day to stand up and walk until the point of exhaustion. “He wouldn’t open the presents,” she says. “He knew what he was doing.” Orman thinks he’d been broken by his failure to provide for his family. Soon after, Orman became obsessive about financial discipline, renouncing debt spending with the zealousness of a convert. Her father’s example, she says, “made me the person I am.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How U.S. special forces are preparing for the worst-case scenario in North Korea
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- I hate Ayn Rand — but here's why my fellow conservatives love her
- The 11 worst fast food restaurants in America
- The best online movies to watch this weekend
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- The biggest lesson Obama failed to learn from Bush
- The danger of the Democrats' lack of desperation
- The secret to Gabrielle Hamilton's amazing grilled cheese sandwiches
- Hey, Paul Ryan's new poverty plan isn't completely terrible!
Subscribe to the Week