Millions Taken into Europe by U.S. Heiresses

The Chicago Daily Tribune, May 3, 1945

Updated: May 15, 2013

This Chicago Tribune article, written at the close of World War II, depicts the growing attraction of European nobility to prosperous American heiresses who marry impoverished European noblemen for the sake of a title, and deplores the fact that Europe thus gains access to and control of American wealth. The article then goes on to give the reader a detailed account of pecunious transatlantic marriages in the past and present, stating that today most of the biggest American fortunes do have a "pipe line to Europe" through a titled alliance.   

“American heiresses have poured money into Europe's coffers thru the 'marriage for title' route in quantities that beggar anything short of lend-lease, a survey showed yesterday. The last time anybody bothered to make a concise survey, which was about 30 years ago, there were 454 American women, representing the cream of American wealth, who had married titled foreigners. The number today, of course, is far greater - some sources say it has tripled. The fortunes of these 500 to 1,500 extremely wealthy families, all of which have been tapped by impoverished European noblemen who married the heiresses, amount to billions of dollars."

Article available through ProQuest (subscription required)

"Millions Taken into Europe by U.S. Heiresses: Dowries Second Only to Lend-Lease Billions." The Chicago Daily Tribune, May 3, 1945, p. 2.

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