Penni Rambo

Written by Penni Rambo

Modified & Updated: 22 Jul 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Barbara Hutton, born into immense wealth and privilege in 1912, was more than just an heiress. She was a socialite, philanthropist, and one of the most fascinating figures of the 20th century. As the sole heiress to the Woolworth fortune, Hutton’s life was a mix of opulence and tragedy, marked by extravagant parties, glamorous romances, and a slew of personal struggles.

In this article, we will delve into Barbara Hutton’s remarkable life and uncover 14 extraordinary facts about her that showcase her unique journey. From her tumultuous marriages to her lavish lifestyle, and her tireless dedication to charitable causes, each aspect of her life reveals a complex and captivating woman who captivated the attention of the world.

Key Takeaways:

  • Barbara Hutton, the “Poor Little Rich Girl,” inherited a massive fortune but faced personal struggles, showing that wealth doesn’t guarantee happiness.
  • Despite her lavish lifestyle, Hutton dedicated herself to charitable causes, proving that true fulfillment goes beyond material possessions.
Table of Contents

The “Poor Little Rich Girl”

Barbara Hutton, famously known as the “Poor Little Rich Girl,” was an American socialite and heiress born on November 14, 1912.

An Enormous Fortune

Hutton inherited a staggering wealth of $50 million from her grandfather, Frank Woolworth, the founder of the Woolworth department store chain.

Serial Marriages

Throughout her life, Hutton was married a total of seven times, garnering attention from the press and fueling public curiosity.

European Aristocracy

One of Hutton’s high-profile marriages was to the European aristocrat Prince Alexis Mdivani. Their wedding in 1933 captivated the media.

The Burden of Wealth

Hutton’s excessive wealth came with its own challenges. She struggled with personal relationships and battled with loneliness and isolation.

Philanthropic Endeavors

Despite her own personal struggles, Hutton dedicated a significant amount of time and resources to charitable causes, including children’s hospitals and orphanages.

The Woolworth Mansion

Hutton owned numerous extravagant properties, including the famed Woolworth Mansion in New York City, which she inherited from her father.

Hollywood Connections

Hutton had a deep fascination with Hollywood and was closely associated with movie stars and celebrities of her time.

The “Tiffany” Diamond

Among her vast collection of jewelry, Hutton owned the renowned “Tiffany” diamond, one of the largest yellow diamonds ever discovered.

Scandal and Public scrutiny

Being one of the wealthiest women in the world, Hutton faced relentless scrutiny from the media, resulting in scandalous headlines and gossip.

A Life of Excess

Hutton lived a life of extravagance, acquiring luxury cars, yachts, and indulging in lavish parties and social events.

Troubles and Turmoil

Hutton faced personal tragedies, including the tragic death of her son from a drug overdose, which further fueled public interest in her life.

The Countess of Romanones

Barbara Hutton acquired the title of Countess of Romanones after marrying her sixth husband, Prince Igor Troubetzkoy, who was of Russian nobility.

The Legacy of Barbara Hutton

Barbara Hutton’s life and the struggles she faced serve as a reminder that wealth doesn’t always equate to happiness and that personal fulfillment goes beyond material possessions.


In conclusion, Barbara Hutton was a truly fascinating individual who lived an extraordinary life. From her immense wealth to her glamorous lifestyle and complicated personal relationships, there are many intriguing facts that make her a legendary figure in celebrity history. Her rags-to-riches story and her charitable endeavors further highlight her unique character and the impact she had on the world.


Q: How did Barbara Hutton amass her fortune?

A: Barbara Hutton inherited a significant portion of her wealth from her grandfather, Frank W. Woolworth, the founder of Woolworth’s department stores. She was later involved in various business ventures and received substantial financial settlements through her divorces.

Q: What was Barbara Hutton’s personal life like?

A: Barbara Hutton had a tumultuous personal life characterized by a series of high-profile marriages, including with Prince Alexis Mdivani, Cary Grant, and Porfirio Rubirosa. Her relationships were frequently in the spotlight and subject to media scrutiny.

Q: Did Barbara Hutton have any children?

A: Barbara Hutton had one son, Lance Reventlow, from her second marriage to Prince Igor Troubetzkoy. Lance tragically died in a plane crash in 1972.

Q: What philanthropic endeavors was Barbara Hutton involved in?

A: Barbara Hutton was known for her extensive philanthropic activities and donated to numerous causes throughout her life. She supported charities related to health, education, and social welfare, including the American Red Cross and the New York Hospital.

Q: What was Barbara Hutton’s legacy?

A: Barbara Hutton’s legacy lies in her immense wealth, her glamorous lifestyle, and her impact on popular culture. Despite her personal struggles, she remains an iconic figure of the 20th century, known for breaking societal norms and living life on her own terms.

If you're fascinated by the lives of famous socialites, their philanthropic endeavors, and the glitz and glamour of high society, we've got more captivating stories for you. Discover astonishing facts about Sanela Diana Jenkins, a renowned socialite who's made her mark on the world stage. Explore mind-blowing insights into how photography can be used for philanthropy, making a real difference in people's lives. Finally, immerse yourself in the world of the classic movie "High Society", which epitomizes the opulence and drama of the upper echelons.

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