Randolph Hearst Leaves Bulk of Estate to Wife

From Associated Press

Randolph Apperson Hearst, who inherited a newspaper that would later report the kidnapping of his daughter by terrorists, left almost all of his personal property to his wife, according to his will.

Hearst died in New York on Dec. 18 at age 85 after suffering a stroke. His last will and testament estimates his personal property--for probate purposes--at $25 million.

Robert Littman, lawyer and co-executor of Hearst’s will, said much of Hearst’s estate--insurance policies, jointly owned properties, trusts--is outside probate and not accounted for in the will.

Forbes magazine recently estimated Hearst’s fortune at $1.8 billion.


Dated July 27, 1989, the will gives an apartment on East 66th Street at Fifth Avenue, along with its contents, his automobiles and $4 million in cash to his second wife and widow, Veronica de Gruyter Hearst.

Veronica Hearst gets the “residuary” of her late husband’s estate--everything he owns that is not specifically bequeathed to someone else.

In one bequest, Hearst leaves his five daughters $100,000 each as fun money, to spend “on something special, such as a trip or a purchase which such child would not otherwise make.”

Hearst was the last surviving son of William Randolph Hearst Sr., founder of the San Francisco Examiner.


In 1974, the newspaper heir’s daughter, Patricia, was kidnapped by the revolutionary Symbionese Liberation Army.

While with the SLA, Patricia renounced her family and joined in a bank robbery. She eventually was captured and convicted, and served 21 months in prison before President Carter commuted her sentence in January 1979.