Real Estate: The Sad Saga of Big Bill

Like a character in an oldtime western serial, Real Estate Tycoon William Zeckendorf has ridden his ailing corporate steed, Webb & Knapp, Inc., through a series of cliffhanging adventures and crises. Somehow he has managed to avert disaster each time with an ingenious plan or a daring, last-minute rescue. Last week Bill Zeckendorf, 59, found himself in the worst trouble of his spectacular career. With no rescue in the script this time, the end seemed finally in sight for a saga that has endlessly fascinated and amazed the business world.

Webb & Knapp is so short of cash that it...

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