If you ask me, money has the power to make you weird. Just look at billionaire brat, Robert Durst. When his father died, Durst successfully sued the rest of his family and ended up with a $65 million fortune. Despite incredible wealth, Durst couldn’t find happiness; he was angry and an enigma; more than likely, he was also a criminal.
He’s been investigated for the disappearance of his wife, Kathleen McCormack Durst, the murder of Susan Berman, the murder and subsequent dismemberment of Morris Black, and several other petty crimes including owning illegal firearms. At the end of the HBO documentary, The Jinx, Durst was famously overheard saying, “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”
Despite this obvious admission of guilt, Durst isn’t serving time for his role in the murders of the above-mentioned victims. No, he’s serving out a short seven-year sentence after pleading guilty to a weapons charge. Although he’s not quite a billionaire, which is why he’s not officially on this list, Durst was a billionaire when he was still connected to the family’s fortune.
He’s also a testament to the weirdness money brings out in people. Durst allegedly killed all those people, but there’s one thing that can be proved without a doubt and that’s that he spent his money in some bizarre ways. He once bought seven Alaskan Malamutes and named them all Igor, all of whom died under mysterious circumstances. That’s easily the most terrifying purchase on this list, but there’s plenty more bizarreness to come. The following 15 billionaires are eccentric, some are dangerous, and they’ve all bought some stuff that will leave you scratching your head.
15. Supremely Confusing Leader Kim Jong-un And Cartoons
North Korea’s supreme leader is a weird guy; that’s evidenced by the many insane quotes attributed to him. And the rumors are worse. He’s explicitly stated he is unafraid to engage in preemptive nuclear war with the United States, and he forces a hairstyle policy on his people including a bowl cut for woman. Imagine wanting layers, but being forced into a rounded bob.
It’s rumored he has no butthole and can talk to dolphins, according to the hilarious Seth Rogen and James Franco movie The Interview. The stuff before is all verifiable, but it’s inconclusive as to whether or not Jong-un has claimed not to poop like a 12-year-old at her first slumber party.
So, what kind of weird sh-t is Jong-un buying (besides weapons capable of reaching California’s coast)? He loves cartoons, so he pays his favorite animators to keep making episodes. He’s such a b*stard that he limits his people from enjoying the Internet (so they didn’t really notice when there was an outage), but he threw a tantrum because he couldn’t watch his ‘toons without it. Oh, and I guess he owns or rents-to-own Dennis Rodman too.
14. Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett – Bought Company To Fire CEO
Warren Buffett is something of an enigma. Where other geriatric billionaires are the stars in their own hellish version of Grumpier Old Men, Buffett’s not such a bad guy. He’s old, white, and rich. With those characteristics, he should be endorsing Satan for president, gentrifying every low-income community everywhere, and demanding tax breaks for corporations while subsequently demanding cuts to Medicare and Social Security – except he’s not. He doesn’t do any of those things. He’s kind of a nice guy, and he wants more social programs for the poor, not less.
He’s every democrat’s favorite billionaire because he’s not a complete d-ck head. That being said, he’s still a weird dude. He bought one of his most famous companies, Berkshire Hathaway, just so he could fire the CEO. Despite immeasurable wealth, Buffett has proven he’s kind of a cheapskate. He uses a flip phone, and reportedly has only sent a single email in his life. What’s stranger? Buffett admits, “I eat like a 6-year-old.” He likes a cheap meal too. He’s got a card that lets him eat for free at every McDonald’s in Omaha, and he uses it often.
13. Titanic Dino-Lover Clive Palmer
Australian billionaire Clive Palmer is a weird dude. Because his business is mining, he’s no proponent of environmental protections; in fact, he actively campaigns against Greenpeace and the EPA. He believes the CIA is working with Greenpeace to undermine Australian mining industry, so basically, he’s paranoid and delusional. He’s also obsessed with dinosaurs.
Palmer wanted to be a real-life John Hammond (Jurassic Park). He’d hoped to be the first man to successfully clone a dinosaur, but when that didn’t work he opted for animatronics instead. He purchased the build of more than 100 moving dinosaurs to decorate Palmer Coolum Resort, his highly-rated golf course.
If that’s not crazy enough, Palmer is bringing the Titanic back to life. He’s recreating the Titanic as a cruise liner, but he’s yet to complete the ship. It was originally slated to be finished in 2016, but it was pushed back to 2018. I should note that he’s separating the ship by classes, so the most affordable tickets will have really crappy quarters.
12. Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal And His Airbus
Saudi Arabian Prince Al-Waleed is a bit of a spend-thrift, but he’s rich enough to afford anything he wants. It’s estimated that Al-Waleed is worth more than $20 billion. He also owns an airbus, which is a personal plane the size of the same planes the rest of us share with 100 other people.
Although Al-Waleed has buckets of money and doesn’t have to care about others, he’s not a terrible guy. He’s just terribly excessive, but he’s done some good so he gets a pass. He’s urged the Arab nations to make peace with Israel, and is known for his charitable giving. After 9/11, he donated $10 million to New York City, he’s given funds to Jewish interest groups, and in 2004, he gave $17 million to victims of the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. He’s definitely got some progressive views and he’s not stingy with his money, so maybe his legacy will be helping to facilitate peace in the middle east.
11. Real Estate Tycoon Jeff Greene Bought A Best Man – Mike Tyson
Jeff Greene made billions in real estate, and was prolific enough to recognize there was a housing bubble. He is one of few people to actually make money during the recession because he recognized the housing crisis for what it was. He wasn’t satisfied making a killing selling property, so he ran for public office too.
Although he didn’t win, he campaigned in 2010 to win Florida’s Senate election primaries. He promised to refuse contributions from special interest organizations, and wouldn’t accept a personal donation over $100. A democrat, his platform was promising, but he has a penchant to say some weird stuff. Ultimately, he lost the election.
The weird thing about Greene isn’t that he married a Chinese refugee twenty years his junior; it’s that he once told reporters, “I just wish I had met Mei Sze 20 years ago.” So, he wishes he could have met her when she was a child bride? Age isn’t anything but a number when both parties are legal to consent, so good for them.
Jeff’s weirdness was further documented when he asked (purchased) Mike Tyson to be the best man at his wedding. His obsession with boxing prompted this strange request. Oh, and he allegedly once told reporters he wanted Americans to learn to live with less, but owns five humongous mansions.
10. Amazon’s Resident Bozo Jeff Bezos And His 10,000-Year Clock
Steve Jobs was a mean guy too, so maybe that’s just Jeff Bezos’ genius? Except, it’s never really cool to be hard on your staff, is it? So many companies have had similar success and their corporate culture was never to terrorize their employees.
Jeff Bezos is credited with screaming at staff members, and offering this nugget of condescension: “I guess supply chain isn’t doing anything interesting next year.” And asking an engineer, “Why are you wasting my life?” He asked an Amazon employee, “Are you lazy or just incompetent?” So, maybe the guy’s not crazy, but just an asshole?
He’s a billionaire, and he’s done his fair share of extravagant spending. He bought The Washington Post, which I guess is a newspaper. Joking. Bezos’ weirdest purchase is the clock he’s building into a mountain near his home. It’s called “The 10,000 Year Clock” and it will be 200-feet-tall. Oh, and he has a rocket-launch site.
9. The Walmart Waltons Bought Cheap Labor
At nineteen I worked retail at Walmart; a lot of kids get jobs there. When you get trained, you must watch this propaganda video about Sam Walton. It really exults him, as if Sam and the subsequent Walmart legacies are the most important people in America. Except they’re kind of shitheads and everyone knows they took advantage of cheap labor and exploited the country’s most vulnerable workers.
It’s an okay job for a teenage kid, but a shitty one for the kid who decides to work his way up to manager and ends up with a meager raise and way too much responsibility. The Walton’s have a history of forcing people into part-time positions so they can justify low wages, and that’s not good for the elderly and undocumented workers they employ to exploit.
So, yeah, the Waltons are crazy. No real secret there. But, what have they bought with their $115-billion of combined wealth. Note there are six Waltons who profit within the family, and that wealth is dispersed among them. Christy Walton, America’s richest woman, has a fancy house. Her sister, Alice Walton, once hit a cannery worker with her car, and the woman died from the injuries she sustained. Alice never received so much as a citation.
8. Donald Trump Buys Second-Rate Football Team
Donald Trump puts his name on everything. That’s his whole shtick, right? He’s good at business or something, the Trump name is what’s got their family to NBC and then to the White House. If there ends up a Celebrity Secretary of State, I wouldn’t be surprised. I also wouldn’t be surprised if there was an executive order to make the Miss Universe pageant a national holiday.
I won’t bore you with details about our president’s crazy antics. It’s no secret he’s said and done some questionable things. His bizarreness is well-documented, so let’s get right to what he’s spent his money on. Well, before the White House, he resided in a three-story $90M penthouse with 24-karat gilded everything, including the toilets. Now only Melania lives there.
He almost bought my precious Buffalo Bills, but that didn’t happen. Phew. Back in the 1980s, he owned the New Jersey Generals, a team that lasted only three seasons. He paid a ghostwriter to write Art of the Deal, a book that has over a million copies. In a New Yorker piece called, “Donald Trump’s Ghostwriter Tells All,” the ghostwriter alleges that it’s mostly fabricated, and that Trump had little to nothing to do with the writing process or story.
7. Howard Hughes The Billionaire Recluse
If you’ve seen The Aviator you know Howard Hughes was an eccentric billionaire. If you haven’t seen The Aviator, watch it – it’s a good movie. It’s a biopic about the world’s most prolific billionaire, and his struggles with mental illness. Hughes likely suffered from paranoia and OCD, which led to him wearing tissues as slippers and complaining that his television was emitting “germ-filled rays.”
No billionaire has paid for as much weird sh-t as Hughes. He hired a man to catch flies – that’s it, just catch flies. Allegedly, he asked the staff of the Beverly Hills Hotel to put roast beef sandwiches in the trees around the hotel, so he could find them when he wandered at night. He also tried to buy all of Las Vegas, and once bought an entire television station simply so he could watch the movies he liked best whenever he wanted.
For the most part, Hughes is an interesting and cool guy, but he was investigated for homicide after running down a pedestrian. He also bought a plane and subsequently crashed it into a Beverly Hills’ neighborhood destroying a couple houses and badly injuring himself.
6. Prolific Nerd Elon Musk
He’s a genius. He’s rich and handsome. He’s charitable, well-dressed, and kind. He’s also bat-shit crazy. He’s Elon Musk, one of the founders of PayPal, and the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX. He’s got a plan to send humans to Mars by 2024, but has warned people they’ll die there. “I think if you’re going to choose a place to die, then Mars is probably not a bad choice,” he said.
He believes artificial intelligence will turn us all into “housecats,” so it’s important to turn ourselves into cyborgs. This is the only way to fight our “biggest existential threat,” as he calls it. “I don’t love the idea of being a house cat, but what’s the solution? I think one of the solutions that seems maybe the best is to add an AI layer. A third, digital layer that could work well and symbiotically with the rest of your body.” I’m running to Walmart to get mine right now, Elon.
So, what kind of weird sh-t is Musk spending his money on? He invests a lot of his money in strange science businesses, which makes sense because he’s a weird science guy. One of his more oddball purchases is Gene Wilder’s house, which he bought for $6.75 million after the star of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory passed away in 2016.
5. Robert Klark Graham And His Weird Bank
The eugenics movement of the 1980s was a narrow-minded time of genius; the greatest minds had some of the worst ideas, and this includes the guy who developed shatterproof eyeglasses. Robert Klark Graham was a genius, but he was also a eugenicist. Eugenics is basically fancy prejudice.
Eugenics was founded on the principle that not all people are created equal. It helped Hitler shape the idea of a master race, and it seems to favor those in the upper crust. Eugenicists widely believe they are ideal, pure, and can breed a superior child. The science is practiced today with less prejudice, but back in the day it was meant to eliminate the perceived inferiority of other races and lesser classes, which is to say poor people.
With his fortune, Graham founded the Repository for Germinal Choice. It was an exclusive sperm bank. In its earliest days, the sperm bank only accepted the spunk from Nobel laureates. That wasn’t profitable, so he later expanded the sperm bank to include others. Throughout the 1980s many smart people donated their spunk, and although it was controversial, some have come forward claiming their children are, in fact, geniuses. Good for them, I guess?
4. Charles and David: The Koch Brothers – Elections???
The Koch brothers’ combined fortune is estimated to be more than $80 billion; each one is worth more than $40 billion, but their wealth is immeasurable so who really knows what their assets and holdings are worth. It’s a lot, and they use it to buy everything from huge $100 million Aspen compounds and entire elections.
In 2014, Rolling Stone printed, “The Kochs are our homegrown oligarchs,” because “they’ve cornered the market on Republican politics and are nakedly attempting to buy congress and the White House.” True, the Koch brothers make dangerous campaign contributions, so their businesses can continue polluting the earth. The University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute estimates that “Koch Industries dumps more pollutants into the nation’s waterways than General Electric and International Paper combined. The company ranks 13th in the nation for toxic air pollution.”
You don’t hear much about their disastrous environmental practices because they do a good job of paying off the states governments in those areas. The Koch brothers have learned how to buy politicians, and influence land and sea decisions in their favor.
3. Bunga Bunga Silvio Berlusconi
Just looking at pictures of Silvio Berlusconi makes me want to take a shower. The billionaire media tycoon and Italian politician is a sleaze bag with a history of bribing senators to support his shady business practices.
You’ll need a shower just looking at pictures of Italian media tycoon, Silvio Berlusconi. The billionaire is a sleazebag. He’s a corrupted politician with a history of bribing senators to support his shady business practices, and he’s been charged with soliciting sex from a minor. He’s also famous for throwing sex parties, called “bunga-bunga” parties.
He was charged with soliciting sex from an underage Moroccan prostitute, and when confronted he replied, “At least I’m not gay.” Yeah the guy is a real piece of sh-t who thinks he can buy kids and use them for sex. He’s also bought his way out of a number of criminal charges, including tax fraud and financing political parties illegally, but for whatever reasons his constituents like him.
2. “Catwoman” Jocelyn Wildenstein Spends $600K A Year On Crap
Jocelyn Wildenstein was awarded an incredible fortune in her divorce. Not only did the judge award her $2 billion of her husband’s money, she also ordered that Mr. Wildenstein pay Jocelyn a sum of $100 million per year for 13 years. She could buy anything she wanted with the money except additional plastic surgery. As you can see in the photo, Jocelyn’s had extensive cosmetic surgery to look like a cat.
Allegedly, it was her husband who wanted her to get the surgeries because he was obsessed with big cats, such as lions and tigers; but, if he really wanted a cat-wife, why was he caught in bed with a 19-year-old Russian model who wasn’t altered to look like a cat? Jocelyn claims she’s very happy with her face, so that’s good for her. She’s admitted to waking up, looking in the mirror, and feeling gorgeous.
1. Go Daddy’s Bob Parson
If douches got grades, Parson is a straight-A student. Some of the guys on this list are philanthropic eccentrics; they’re cool billionaires. Bob Parson isn’t; he’s an out-of-touch elitist.
It’s kind of sad that Parson sucks because he started out as one-of-us. He grew up in a blue collar household, and joined the Marines because he was flunking out of school. How awesome would it be if Parson’s learned something from his average upbringing, such as how to be a decent human being?
Unfortunately, he’s pretty awful. He’s grossly obsessed with fake boobs on young women, hates the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and a big game hunter. Yeah, the dude once filmed himself killing an elephant in Zimbabwe. This earned him the well-deserved title of “Scummiest CEO of the Year” from PETA.
As far as his disdain for the CFPB goes, Parson’s doesn’t believe normal people should be protected from shady business practices. As the daddy of GoDaddy, he’s probably just protecting his cubby. GoDaddy has been accused of terrible customer support, and even “arbitrarily yanking sites without notice from the web.”