Saul P. Steinberg, 73, the former corporate raider and chairman of Reliance Group Holdings, died Friday in his sleep at his home in Manhattan, the New York Times reported. No cause was given. That same day, his mother, Anne, who once sued her son for nonpayment of a $4.7 million debt, died in her sleep in Palm Beach, Fla., according to the Times. Her age and the cause weren't given.
Mr. Steinberg once controlled Reliance Group, a New York-based property and casualty insurer. The firm, listing $12.6 billion in assets and $12.9 billion in debts, filed for bankruptcy protection in 2001 after higher-than-expected workers' compensation costs and other claims. Mr. Steinberg resigned as chairman that same year after stepping down as chief executive officer in 2000. He was with the company for 32 years.
Reliance served as the base for Steinberg's unsuccessful bids for Chemical Bank, now part of JPMorgan Chase & Co., in 1969 and Walt Disney Co. in 1984. His pursuit of Disney ended with the company's buying back his shares at a premium of almost $60 million, helping to establish the term greenmail, according to Forbes magazine.
Forbes estimated that Steinberg's personal wealth once exceeded $600 million. At Reliance, he received pay of more than $12 million a year in cash, benefits, and dividends, The Inquirer reported in 2001. Mr. Steinberg was a major benefactor of the University of Pennsylvania. - Bloomberg News