SOUTH AFRICA: The Diamond King

For years, shy little Sir Ernest Oppenheimer left aides breathless as he raced down into South Africa's mines or whisked surefootedly around the crags of high finance. "There's a special place in hell," he said impatiently, "for mining men who don't work with the deposits the good Lord has given them." Last week, a few minutes after joking with his son Harry, his doctor and his private secretary, Sir Ernest slumped over at the breakfast table with a heart attack. At 77, the "king of diamonds" was dead.

One of six sons of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!