Heiress Leaves $40 million to her African American Nurse

by Dr. Boyce Watkins.

I added in some info on this one, but not too much – I don’t want to go over the limit specs.  Let me know if this works:

It appears that Heiress Huguette Clark knows who her friends are.  The 104-year old woman, whose family had earned a fortune in the copper industry, left a hefty chunk of her estate to her nurse, Hadassah Peri.  Some reports say that Peri is set to receive a cool $40 million (although it has been reported by ABC News to be just $34 million), which might be considered slightly above the average nurse’s salary.  And by the way, Peri is also African American.

In addition to the $40 million, Peri will also receive Clark’s doll collection, which is worth millions.  The mogul described Peri as her “loyal friend and companion” in legal documents. The bulk of the remainder will go to charity and other individuals that Huguette decided to enrich during her journey in this thing called life.  Her God daughter Wanda Styka is set to receive $14 million, while all of her art and the rest of her assets will go to a charity that will help to promote the arts.

Peri has lived as a recluse for the last several decades at Beth Israel Hospital in New York. While most psychologists agree that Peri, as a caregiver, is going to be better off with her newfound wealth, some argue that this kind of inheritance can actually make you worse. “This may or may not be good,” said Daniel Kegan, a Chicago psychologist and director of Elan Associates. “Obtaining a windfall acts as an amplifier of how you are living. If you are grounded, it can make things better for you. And if you’re not, it can make it much worse.”

Psychologists also point to the long list of lottery winners who’ve gone broke and even committed suicide after obtaining what many felt to be the American dream.  If you are not smart with your money as a poor person, then coming into a windfall can only serve to magnify the impact of poor personal choices.  So, when your powerball ticket hits the big number, you may want to take a second to study finance and learn a bit of discipline.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Finance Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition.  To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.



  • Jgwilson

    All reports I’ve read say the Mrs. Peri is a Phillipino immigrant not African American.
    Which is true?

    • Celestialsister

      I read that she’s Filipina also.   Probably is.

  • R Jones8723


  • SapphiresMomma

    Dr. Watkins seems to always entitle his blogs for “sensation”, or his usual “rile up the negros to incite” titles.

    This woman was not reported as being an African American or a black american!

    Dr. Watkins please STOP being careless with your words just to get attention.

    More power to whom ever got the money!

  • celia785

    Friends. Not many people on this earth have true friends. It’s a blessing to see that she knew who her friend was.

  • Anonymous

    You always  write stuff this inaccurate?

    The woman is Filipino.

    And she is not the one who was a recluse at Beth Israel, it was Ms. Clark.

    Do you have a copy editor?

  • Mary Longe

    Was the info that you ‘added’… regarding the RACE of the heiress’s nurse, lol??
    I am happy for anyone who gets treated to a hefty inheritance, especially if they’ve been a good friend to the person who died. I just wanna know the actual race of the person, so I can know that the title MATCHES the story.

    • Mary Longe

      I hadta google it for myself…

      “Hadassah Peri, 60, is an immigrant from the Philippines and a registered nurse”