TYPE: Record
COMPONENTS: Sheet music and 3 45s.
REFERENCE EXTERNAL LINKS: "Dear Mr. Brody" Interview

ITEM ID: 5323
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Michael James Brody, Jr. Sheet Music and 45s

DATE
Decade: 1970s

In 1970, Michael James Brody Jr., a 21 year old heir to a margarine fortune living in New York , announced that he would be giving away his $25 million fortune to ordinary people to help spread love and cure the world’s problems.

He ended up 10 days later on The Ed Sullivan Show” and made headlines around the world, causing tens of thousands of people to write to him explaining why they should get some of his money.

Crowds gathered at his rented house in Westchester County and his office in midtown Manhattan. Almost immediately, Brody’s checks began bouncing and his life unraveled, ending with his suicide soon after and his memory all but vanishing from historical memory. That is until 30,000 of the 100,000 or so letters written to him asking for money were rediscovered recently at Columbia University’s special collections library, most of them never opened.

Filmmakers have created a documentary streaming on the Discovery Channel titled “Dear Mr. Brody” where these letters-some read aloud by their authors who the filmmakers tracked down- provide a glimpse into the desperate pleas and fanciful wishes of ordinary Americans during the early 1970s.

The story of the life and temporary fame of Michael James Brody Jr.