Jeffrey Edward Epstein, an American financier, was born January 20, 1953 in Brooklyn, New York. After attending Lafayette High School in Brooklyn, Epstein dropped out of Manhattan’s Cooper Union in 1971. He then enrolled in New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences but left without a degree. Despite the gaps in his education, Epstein taught calculus and physics at Dalton between 1973 and 1975. While he was a teacher, Epstein reportedly tutored Bear Stearns chairman Ace Greenberg’s son and ” was friendly” with his daughter, and left the school in 1976 to work at the firm. By 1992, Epstein was the official owner of the largest private residence in Manhattan. He would also later purchase homes in Paris, Miami, New Mexico, and the entire island of Little St. James in the US Virgin Islands.
Epstein’s philanthropic efforts culminated in the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation, which made headlines for a 2003 donation of $30 million to Harvard University to establish a mathematical biology and evolutionary dynamics program. The donation showed off some of Epstein’s most elite connections, as he was publicly lauded as “brilliant” by then-Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz. The donation joined the ranks of what some saw as Epstein’s carefully calculated efforts to curate an image of himself as an elite figure.
“He is this mysterious, Gatsbyesque figure,” someone familiar with Epstein told NYMag in 2002. “He likes people to think that he is very rich, and he cultivates this air of aloofness. The whole thing is weird.”
Eleven years after letting Jeffrey Epstein off lightly with a once-secret plea deal, the U.S. government took another run at putting the wealthy sex offender behind bars with new sex-trafficking charges that law enforcement officials said involved allegations dating to the early 2000s. Epstein’s arrest also came just days after a federal appeals court in New York ordered the unsealing of nearly 2,000 pages of records in a since-settled defamation case involving Epstein. Epstein, arrested, was expected to make his first court appearance on the new charges in New York City.
According to court records in Florida, authorities say at least 40 underage girls were brought into Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion for what turned into sexual encounters after female fixers looked for suitable girls locally and in Eastern Europe and other parts of the world. Some girls were also allegedly brought to Epstein’s homes in New York City, New Mexico, and a private Caribbean island, according to court documents.
Jeffrey Epstein friends included President Donald Trump, former President Bill Clinton, and Great Britain’s Prince Andrew.
Jeffrey Epstein Full Biography and Profile
Epstein was born in Brooklyn, New York, on January 20 1953. His parents, Pauline and Seymour Epstein, raised him and his brother, Mark, in Brooklyn. Jeffrey graduated from high school and went on to take college-level classes, but never obtained a degree. In the mid-70s, he started working for Bear Stearns as an assistant. He remained focused on his career, climbing up the ladder until he eventually gained enough knowledge to open his own consulting firm in 1981.
Mr. Epstein grew up in a working-class community in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn, N.Y. He never graduated from college. Instead, he benefited from good timing, self-promotion and what former associates described as charming intelligence.
Over four decades, Mr. Epstein built a fortune of more than a half-billion dollars through close relationships with a small number of rich and powerful people, such as retail magnate Leslie Wexner, Johnson & Johnson heiress Elizabeth Johnson and hedge-fund billionaire Glenn Dubin. Mr. Epstein became deeply entwined in their lives, records and interviews show. He served as a private wealth manager, pitching tax-saving strategies, handling prenuptial agreements, estate planning and other personal matters. In a court filing after his arrest last month, Mr. Epstein listed more than $550 million in assets, including houses and investment accounts. Mr. Epstein earned at least $200 million through his yearslong relationship with Mr. Wexner.
He socialized with princes and presidents and lived on a 100-acre private island in the Caribbean and one of the biggest mansions in New York. A college dropout, he became a sought-after benefactor of professors and scientists, donating millions of dollars in donations to Harvard University and other causes.
Before his legal troubles, Epstein led a life of extraordinary luxury that drew powerful people into his orbit. His friends over the years have included Donald Trump, former lead investigator of the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal Kenneth Starr, Britain’s Prince Andrew and former Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz. The somewhat reclusive Epstein splashed into the news in 2002 after a New York tabloid reported he had lent his Boeing 727 to ferry former President Bill Clinton and other notables on an AIDS relief mission to Africa.
Magazine profiles followed and established Epstein’s reputation as a stealthy yet exorbitantly successful money man with a gilded social circle and as somewhat ascetic streak. But Epstein also enjoyed surrounding himself with much younger women, including Russian models who attended his cocktail parties and beautiful women he flew aboard his plane, according to a 2003 Vanity Fair profile.
“I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it – Jeffrey enjoys his social life,” Trump supposedly said at the time. This exchange was detailed in a Fox News report from last month.
Only one woman’s name was made a recurring appearance in discussions of Epstein’s crimes: that of Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite and Epstein’s longtime confidante, who is alleged to have played a pivotal role in procuring young women for him. Maxwell is the daughter of British media mogul Robert Maxwell, who owned and operated a number of British tabloids and was at one point estimated to have been worth nearly $1.9 billion. She was educated at the prestigious Marlborough boarding school in the U.K., and went on to study at Oxford.
The Maxwells were active in both British and American social circles, and the family apparently had ties to Trump before even Epstein did: a 1989 clipping from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch lists Trump as a guest on Robert Maxwell’s yacht, the aptly named Lady Ghislaine. In 1991, Maxwell was found dead under mysterious circumstances after reportedly having fallen overboard from the yacht. It was later discovered that he was in a significant amount of debt at the time of his death, and had embezzled from his employees’ pension fund.
Before her father’s death, Maxwell had already started building her credentials as a British socialite and philanthropist; she founded the Kit-Cat Club, a social organization for working women, and also served as director for a football club her father owned. Following her father’s passing, however, she moved to the United States, eager to escape the scrutiny of the U.K. tabloids. While she started out working in real estate and living on the (relatively) modest trust fund sum of $100,000 a year, Maxwell quickly rebounded from her father’s passing and subsequent disgrace, according to a 2000 New York Post profile, relying on the Maxwell family’s powerful network of famous friends to regain her position in the social world.
For the past two decades, Maxwell has held the types of board positions and charitable foundation advisory roles favored by the uber-wealthy, founding the charitable organization the TerraMar Project, which works to preserve the world’s oceans, in 2012. She also continued to cultivate friendships with extremely high-powered individuals such as Trump and Prince Andrew, reportedly introducing Epstein to the latter in 1997 and former President Bill Clinton, even appearing as a guest at Chelsea Clinton’s wedding in 2010.
According to the 2000 New York Post profile of Maxwell, Epstein and Maxwell began dating in the late 1990s; the piece not-so-subtly implies that Maxwell largely viewed Epstein, who at that point had become extremely wealthy from his investment firm J. Epstein & Co., as a strategic launch pad for her career as a New York City philanthropist and socialite. Although their romantic relationship later fizzled out, the two developed a close platonic bond, according to a 2003 Vanity Fair profile of Epstein, in which he refers to Maxwell as his “best friend.” The Vanity Fair profile depicts Maxwell as something of a high-end assistant to Epstein, with journalist Vicky Ward writing that Maxwell “seems to organize much of his life,” even making appointments with personal yoga instructors for Epstein.
According to those who have accused Epstein of sexual abuse, Maxwell’s predilection for managing his life extended to his sex life as well. In 2018, Epstein and Maxwell settled a lawsuit brought against them by a woman named Sarah Ransome, who alleged that Maxwell hired her to give Epstein massages at his home. Between 2006 and 2007, Ransome alleged, the two promised to pay her tuition to FIT in exchange for Ransome providing sexual favors to Epstein and his friends, including lawyer Alan Dershowitz. (Dershowitz has repeatedly denied the charges; Ransome’s suit was settled in 2018 under undisclosed terms.)
“Epstein, who has homes in Manhattan, Palm Beach, New Mexico, Paris and in the U.S. Virgin Islands, sexually abused nearly three dozen girls, mostly 13-16 years old, at his Palm Beach mansion from 1999 to 2006, according to investigators. He used the girls to help recruit other young girls as part of an operation that ran similar to a pyramid scheme. He also had recruiters who helped with his appointments, scheduling as many as three or four girls a day, the FBI probe found,” the Miami Herald previously reported.
Jeffrey Epstein Quick Facts
- 2002: The earliest allegations of abuse covered by the recent case take place.
- October 2002: Donald Trump tells New York magazine he has known Epstein for 15 years, and that he is a “terrific guy…. it is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side”.
- 2005: One of Epstein’s alleged victims, aged 14, reports him to the police in Palm Beach – sparking the first investigation.
- May 2006: Epstein is charged with unlawful sex acts with a minor. Later in the year, the case is referred to the FBI.
- 2007: A plea deal is struck with Alex Acosta, the US attorney in Florida. Instead of facing federal sex-trafficking charges, he pleads guilty to two charges of soliciting prostitution, including with a minor.
- June 2008: Epstein is sentenced to 13 months in prison – a private wing of a county jail. He is also allowed to leave for work – up to 12 hours a day, six days a week. He does, however, have to register as a sex offender.
- April 2017: Alex Acosta is appointed labor secretary by now-President Donald Trump.
- November 2018: The Miami Herald publishes its explosive investigation into Epstein, the plea deal, and the dozens of women alleging abuse.
- July 2019: Epstein is arrested on new sex-trafficking charges, which he denied. Alex Acosta resigns.
Jeffrey Epstein’s Family and Wealth
Over the years, Epstein never married. Although he had a couple of longterm girlfriends, he never settled down. He also never had any children. Instead of starting a family, Epstein focused on his professional career. His net worth was estimated at $1 billion, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Jeffrey Epstein’s Death: 10 August 2019
Financier Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his prison cell while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, US media report. A Fire Department of New York official said FDNY received a phone call at 6:39 a.m. Saturday for a patient under cardiac arrest at the correctional center where Mr. Epstein was being held. Upon arrival, first responders attempted to administer CPR to Mr. Epstein, an FDNY official said.
Mr. Epstein then was transported to New York Presbyterian Lower Manhattan hospital, where he was pronounced dead, the official said. Last month, shortly after he was denied bail, he was found semi-conscious in his cell with injuries to his neck. He was treated at a nearby hospital, reports say, before being returned to the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York.
“We are enormously sorry to learn of today’s news,” Mr. Epstein’s lawyers said in a statement Saturday morning. “No one should die in jail. We cannot confirm rumors as to his cause of death, and we trust that the United States Attorney’s Office and the United States Marshals will thoroughly investigate the circumstances of today’s tragedy.”
The Bureau of Prisons confirmed that he had been housed in the jail’s Special Housing Unit, a heavily secured part of the facility that separates high-profile inmates from the general population. Until recently, the same unit had been home to the Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who is now serving a life sentence at the so-called Supermax prison in Colorado.
The facility has drawn criticism from staffers, union officials, inmates and attorneys for substandard conditions and a lack of basic amenities, such as books, for inmates.
Epstein’s death is likely to raise questions about how the Bureau of Prisons ensures the welfare of high-profile inmates. In October, Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger was killed in a federal prison in West Virginia where had just been transferred. Cameron Lindsay, a former warden who ran three federal lockups, said the death represents “an unfortunate and shocking failure, if proven to be a suicide.”
“Unequivocally, he should have been on active suicide watch and therefore under direct and constant supervision,” Lindsay said. “When you have an inmate as high profile as Epstein, it’s absolutely imperative the warden set the tone with his or her leadership to ensure these kinds of incidents don’t happen.”
“We have to live with the scars of his actions for the rest of our lives, while he will never face the consequences of the crimes he committed the pain and trauma he caused so many people,” accuser Jennifer Araoz said in a statement.
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