Spiriting Away a Fortune

Ever since he was a teenager, more interested in producing movies than in the prospect of running his family's liquor empire, Edgar Bronfman Jr. has faced his share of skeptics. One of the first, in fact, was his grandfather Samuel, a Russian immigrant to Canada who advanced from Prohibition bootlegger to spirits magnate, owner of a portfolio that included Chivas Regal Scotch and Captain Morgan rum. In a mid-1990s documentary about the family, Edgar Jr. recalled his grandfather saying, "Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations. I'm worried about the third generation." Such doubts didn't seem to faze Edgar Jr., who years...

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