A biography of the Philadelphia philanthropist and millionaire, built out of his own writings. He was a self-contained, exacting and solitary man who was never really loved in his lifetime. The loss of a right eye in childhood increased his natural shyness. He went to sea at an early age, traded for a few years, then -- by accident -landed in Philadelphia where he set up a shop and married pretty Mary Lum. Stephen Girard rose steadily, made considerable money in partnership with a brother, but with success came family discord, with his brother, his relatives abroad, his wife, who -- childless -- ultimately went insane. He set up two mistresses, but neither really loved him. He distinguished himself publicly during the yellow fever epidemic. He virtually financed the war of 1812. But -- in spite of his ""good works"" he was misunderstood by the public, and disliked by his associates. Solid writing, but rather dull reading, though Mr. Wildes probably made the most out of an unappealing figure.