King Larry: The Life and Ruins of a Billionaire Genius
James D. Scurlock
From Howard Hughes to Mark Zuckerberg, the public has always been fascinated by genius entrepreneurs who succumb to their eccentricities. Now, James Scurlock engages, educates, and entertains readers with the captivating story of DHL co-founder and billionaire Larry Hillblom.
"King Larry" begins with an early biography of Larry Lee Hillblom, a mercurial young man who grew up on a peach farm outside of Fresno, California. Hillblom co-founded DHL in 1969 (three years before FedEx), and it became the fastest-growing corporation in history. Hillblom's expatriate life began in 1981, when he retreated to a small tax haven in the Western Pacific. There he led the resistance to American meddling in the Marianas Islands. Hillblom's voracious appetite for underage prostitutes is another facet of his unusual story. In 1995, Hillblom's amoral, thrill-seeking nature caught up to him when his seaplane disappeared off the coast of Anatahan, leaving behind an estate worth billions. Weeks later, five impoverished women and their attorneys came forward to challenge Hillblom's will in a legal battle for his fortunes that continues to this day.
Meticulously researched and thoroughly engaging, "King Larry" will satisfy fans of such bestsellers as "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" and "The Accidental Billionaires" .
executor and fired the Carlsmith firm, exiling Donnici and Waechter. The judge had appointed a CPA from Texas named William Webster to perform the duties of the executor—at $70,000 a month—and hired a giant law firm out of San Francisco called Morrison Foerster, aka MoFo, to represent the estate. They did not come cheap. “These are not boney [sic] dogs that wander in free,” Lujan squealed when MoFo’s first seven-figure invoice arrived. “They are extraordinarily expensive hybrid, pureblooded dogs
mediation of a retired federal judge named Coleman Fannin. It was reconvened at Saipan’s brand-new oceanfront showcase, the 300-room Diamond Hotel, on August 6, just three days before the Hillblom probate would go to trial. There was still no agreement on any issue besides the obvious: that Hillblom’s fortune would be divided somehow between Junior, Mercedita, and Jellian, who had tested positive for sibship a month earlier, and the medical trust called for under his will. Adding to the tension,
invited us to stay for tea. She doesn’t believe me, of course, nor should she, even though this unlikely story happens to be true. “Why should I tell you anything?” is her next question, and my response is that I don’t know. That I am so unprepared for her interrogation seems to soften her gaze just a little. Rather than order me to leave, she says that she’s writing a book herself, with the help of a friend in suburban Virginia, which is where she and her son, Be Lory, moved after the case,
office,” Lupo roars. “It was hilarious. It was typical him.” Lupo was still not convinced of a conspiracy. On the surface, Loomis v. DHL seemed like little more than legal hardball. But he was convinced several months later when the judge in DHL’s countersuit ordered the CAB to release its internal correspondence, which included a telling memo from the bureau’s chairman, a Nixon appointee named Robert Timm, to the head of his enforcement division. “Timm said, ‘I had a call from an old fraternity
midafternoon, meaning that any chance of returning to sleep will be futile. And because nearly all of the flights into Saipan arrive between midnight and 3:00 a.m., I must wait several more hours to actually see my surroundings, though I have no doubt that beneath the darkness outside my window lies the island paradise I’ve been reading about for months: lush tropical foliage atop a massive reef that hovers just below the Western Pacific Ocean, 120 miles due north of Guam, 1,200 miles southwest