Trivia Tuesday: Mr. Khan

khan

Courtesy of New York Social Diary

Mr. Otto Kahn never quite gained the caché of some of the other early Palm Beach elite. It wasn’t for lack of trying; Khan first visited the island in 1916 and soon supported the Palm Beach Art League, built an impressive home on Sunset Avenue, was a shareholder at Palm Beach Stores (a purveyor of gourmet foodstuffs for the early/wealthy “pioneers”), and became a partner in Palm Beach Estates. He and his wife, Addie, belonged to the Bath & Tennis Club, Seminole Golf Club, Oasis Club, Palm Beach Yacht Club, Palm Beach Country Club, and the Palm Beach Angler’s Club, (later the Sailfish Club), and he was a member of the Palm Beach Men’s Club and the Palm Beach Gridiron Club. Khan even thought about buying Whitehall. But he earned lasting fame for a different reason. What is it?

  1. Working as a waiter in New York City, Charlie Chaplin once got a generous tip from Kahn. Chapin later carried a cane in his movies as a tribute to Kahn’s kindness.
  2. Khan, an opera fan, coined the phrase, “It’s not over ’till the fat lady sings.”
  3. Khan asked his Saville Row tailor to add a vest to his suits, to help guard against chilly autumn days in Maine (the Kahns had a home in Cold Spring Harbor). In doing so, he inadvertently invented the three-piece suit.
  4. Khan may have been the inspiration for Monopoly’s “Mr. Moneybags.”

 

mr-moneybags

Hasbro

Answer: 4. Khan’s Palm Beach holdings were but a small part of his portfolio. The German-born railroad/banking tycoon owned high-end properties all over the country. His Long Island home, Oheka Castle, had a golf course, a palatial formal garden and a private landing strip. It was among the largest private residences in the country, second only to the Vanderbilts’ Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C. The Monopoly character certainly bears a strong resemblance to Khan (though some say it was based on businessman J.P. Morgan). The cartoon tycoon was later renamed Milburn Pennybags.


pbbor-tree-bwPublished monthly, the Palm Beach Real Estate Guide showcases available Palm Beach real estate, from estates and historic homes to in-town flats and waterfront high-rises. Subscribe or contact us.

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s