A scandalous story of money, drugs, fast cars, high politics, lowly crime, hundreds of beautiful woman and one man, Porfirio Rubirosa -- the Austin Powers of his day -- from the celebrated author of RAT PACK CONFIDENTIAL. The Dominican playboy Porfirio Rubirosa died at 8:00 am on July 5, 1965, when he smashed his Ferrari into a tree in Paris. He ...
A scandalous story of money, drugs, fast cars, high politics, lowly crime, hundreds of beautiful woman and one man, Porfirio Rubirosa -- the Austin Powers of his day -- from the celebrated author of RAT PACK CONFIDENTIAL. The Dominican playboy Porfirio Rubirosa died at 8:00 am on July 5, 1965, when he smashed his Ferrari into a tree in Paris. He was 56 years old and on his way home to his 28-year-old fifth wife, Odile Rodin, after a night's debauch in celebration of a victorious polo match. In the previous four decades, Rubirosa had on four separate occasions married one of the wealthiest women in the world, and had slept with hundreds of other women including Marilyn Monroe, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Ava Gardner, Jayne Mansfield, Joan Crawford, Tina Onassis, and Eva Peron. He had worked as aide-de-camp to one of the most vicious fascists the century ever knew. He had served as an ambassador to France, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Cuba, Argentina, and Vichy. He had been a jewel thief, a forger, a shipping magnate, a treasure hunter. He had held his own with the world's most powerful and notorious men including John F. Kennedy, Josef Goebbels, Juan Peron and Charles DeGaulle. He ran comfortably in circles of celebrity, counting among his friends Frank Sinatra, Ted Kennedy, David Niven, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, Stewart Granger, fashion designer Oleg Cassini, and fellow playboy Aly Khan. He was respected for his ruthlessness, his athleticism, his panache, his frank hedonism, his dark reputation and his prodigious physical endowment. He lived for the moment and, at his death, faded without a legacy: no children, no fortune, no entity -- financial, cultural, even architectural -- that bore his name. There will never be anyone else like Porfiro Rubirosa. Indeed, the really amazing thing is that there ever was.
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Publishers Weekly, 2005-06-27 Even readers who find the idea of a "playboy" somewhat questionable won't be able to put down Levy's biography of Porfirio Rubirosa (1909-1965). For one thing, there's delicious gossip: the women he courted (Eartha Kitt, Zsa Zsa Gabor), the men he prowled with (Prince Aly Khan, Sinatra, the Kennedys) and the fabulously wealthy women he married (Barbara Hutton, Doris Duke). There's also the story of his infamous penis-Doris Duke described it as "six inches in circumference... much like the last foot of a Louisville Slugger baseball bat with the consistency of a not completely inflated volleyball." Plus, there's sports-car racing, polo ponies and nonstop nightclubbing. But Levy, film critic for the Portland Oregonian, goes beyond the glitz to see Rubirosa as a product of a particular time and place: dictator Trujillo's Dominican Republic. Like many Trujillo intimates, Rubirosa was well paid for his loyalty, not his labor. By the 1960s, when Rubirosa crashed his Ferrari in Paris's Bois de Boulogne, he was an anachronism-at that point, even wealthy men were trying to have careers of some sort. All Rubi knew was how to enjoy himself, so this bubbly bio is a perfect tribute. Photos. Agent, Inkwell Management. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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