Fact: Oscar Wilde is worth a fortune! There are zillions of individuals and companies daily earning sack-loads of dosh from Oscar through publishing books (his or ones about him), staging plays, making films, TV programmes and recordings and using him to sell a variety of products from fridge magnets featuring his witticisms via finger puppets (yes, you did read that correctly, see left) and – featuring the rather good caricature below – roller blinds!
And the anomaly?
One of the last things Oscar said before he made his final exit was: "I am dying beyond my means!" He was indeed! Worth more today than he was even at the height of his fame, Oscar died broke!
It is always worth remembering that 'you can't take it with you' but it is surprising how many celebrated geniuses have not had to worry about that when drawing their last breath.
A recent blog has just published a post on '10 celebrated Geniuses Who Died Penniless' and it is an inspiring list that includes Herman Melville, Edgar Allen Poe, Socrates and Vincent van Gogh
It also features the tragic stories of Nikola Tesla and ––– Antonio Meucci... Antonio Who, you ask? Well, largely forgotten though he is (and skint though he was when he died) without Signor Meucci, Alexander Graham Bell would not have left us the Bell Telephone Company.
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In the wake of the The Sunday Times Rich List 2012, it is worth checking out some of those on the Poor List who have, nevertheless, enriched our world.