“Talk to me, Harry Winston. Tell me everything,” Marilyn Monroe whispered in the song “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” in the 1953 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, which The movie is named after a prominent jeweler in New York.
Now, his son Ronald is telling all of it in a new book, describing his father’s rise in the jewelry industry and his struggles with his brother Bruce about the company after his death in 1978. lengthy legal battle. Owned by the Swiss watchmaker Swatch Group since 2013. )
The book’s title, “King of Diamonds: Harry Winston, the Definitive Biography of an American Icon,” draws on the “King of Diamonds” description used by Cosmopolitan magazine in 1947 and which accompanies the jeweler life.
Ronald Winston, 82, said he wrote the book with longtime friend William Stadiem because he realized he was “the only one in the world who knew the true story People, when I’m gone, the story doesn’t exist anymore.” Skyhorse Publishing plans to release the biography in the US on September 19, and in Europe and the UK on November 23.
Mr Winston said he began putting together material for the book about 20 years ago, which included transcribing some tapes of interviews he gave his father in 1978. He started writing in 2008, giving himself time to “take a picture of my dad”. Yes,” he said.
“He was a very kind person, always helping people,” he said of his father. For example, it describes how Harry Winston sponsored Claude Arpels, one of the Van Cleef & Arpels heirs, to “flee France and enter the United States” during World War II. “.
Harry Winston was born Harry Weinstein in New York in 1896. In 1920, he changed his name to Winston and opened his eponymous business in 1932. One of the first jewelers to recognize the power of the red carpet, he provided diamonds to Jennifer Jones at the 1944 Academy Awards, which won Best Actress for Bernadette song of”.
But perhaps the best-known story about the jeweler is that he donated the 45.5-carat Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian Institution in 1958, sending it by Registered American Mail.
Ronald Winston joined his father’s company as an apprentice in 1966, became Chairman and CEO in 1978 and left in 2007.
His father remains a huge influence throughout his career. “My dad was very sociable, and I think I learned that from him,” he said. “Well, I’ve watched him work with clients, and he’s practically a master at it,” because “he has a natural insight into human nature, their vanity and profanity.”