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The Man in the Rockefeller Suit

The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Impostor

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


A real-life Talented Mr. Ripley, the unbelievable thirty-year run of a shape-shifting con man.

The story of Clark Rockefeller is a stranger-than-fiction twist on the classic American success story of the self-made man-because Clark Rockefeller was totally made up. The career con man who convincingly passed himself off as Rockefeller was born in a small village in Germany. At seventeen, obsessed with getting to America, he flew into the country on dubious student visa documents and his journey of deception began.

Over the next thirty years, boldly assuming a series of false identities, he moved up the social ladder through exclusive enclaves on both coasts-culminating in a stunning twelve-year marriage to a rising star businesswoman with a Harvard MBA who believed she'd wed a Rockefeller.

The imposter charmed his way into exclusive clubs and financial institutions-working on Wall Street, showing off an extraordinary art collection-until his marriage ended and he was arrested for kidnapping his daughter, which exposed his past of astounding deceptions as well as a connection to the bizarre disappearance of a California couple in the mid-1980s.

The story of The Man in the Rockefeller Suit is a probing and cinematic exploration of an audacious imposer-and a man determined to live the American dream by any means necessary.

From Publishers Weekly

Mar 28, 2011 – Hiding behind one of America s wealthiest names, a German immigrant duped the world in a decades-long charade that Vanity Fair contributing editor Seal unravels in this fascinating account. Born Christian Gerhartsreiter in Germany in 1961 , he left home at age 17, landing with an acquaintance in Connecticut. Over the next 14 years, he carefully honed his impersonation skills. He shed his German accent and began acquiring aliases, first in wealthy San Marino, Calif., and then, in 1992, in Manhattan society, where he made a calculatedly low-key entrance as James Frederick Mills Clark Rockefeller. He soon married Sandra Boss, a financial executive, whose money Rockefeller spent with abandon. Only when she filed for divorce after 12 rocky years of marriage did his carefully constructed facade crumble, and he went on the run with their young daughter, sparking an FBI chase and a prison sentence for kidnapping and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Seal (Wildflower: An Extraordinary Life and Mysterious Death in Africa) brilliantly reconstructs and dissects Gerhartsreiter s strange life, weaving in interviews with those who knew or thought they knew one of the men he pretended to be along the way. (Earlier this month, the L.A. Times reported that prosecutors have brought an indictment against Gerhartsreiter in a 1980s murder in San Marino.)

Customer Reviews

The Man in the Rockefeller Suit

Well researched history of this interesting case. Easy and quick read that will keep you up past your bedtime trying to get to the end of the chapter.

ASP in Houston, Texas

The Man in the Rockefeller Suit

This is going to make a great movie.Albeit the book was really a more intense version of Vanity Fair it was good but was really a narrative.No true indepthness needed more substantiveness investigation.What scares me is that ,"Are there really that many dumb people in this day and age."? Also why in our financial industry is there not more scrutiny when hiring someone.Seems to me this guy really really was lucky.Good luck to his ex wife and daughter.Hopefully her career is in tact and she can get on with life.Would have liked to know more about how she is doing.Read this is 2 days. This book should be required reading at all east coast prep schools.

No photos

Be forewarned. The iBook edition I received had no photos, although the print version does.

The Man in the Rockefeller Suit
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Jun 02, 2011
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
  • Print Length: 368 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings