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Tobacco Heiress Leaves Most Of Estate To Charity

November 2, 1993

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) _ Doris Duke, once the ″richest girl in the world,″ left behind a $1.2 billion estate, about $1 billion of which her will says will go to a new charitable foundation named for her.

New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and Duke University are to receive $10 million each, according to the will, which was filed in court Monday. The New York Zoological Park in the Bronx was to receive $1 million.

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation will be given more than $1 billion and is expected to provide funding for a variety of causes and foundations including those dealing with the environment and prevention of cruelty to children and animals.

The tobacco heiress died Thursday of progressive pulmonary edema, a buildup of fluid in the lungs that caused cardiac arrest. She was 80.

Duke was 12 when her father died in 1925 and left the bulk of his estate to his only child, which prompted the media to dub her the richest girl in the world.

Most of the Duke fortune came from the American Tobacco Co., the Duke Power Co. and real estate investments.

Duke hoped her new foundation would rival the Ford, Rockefeller and MacArthur foundations for philanthropy, said William M. Doyle Jr., an attorney for the estate.

In addition to the foundation, several other charitable organizations are to be established under the will, including the Doris Duke Foundation for the Preservation of Endangered Wildlife and the Doris Duke Foundation for the Preservation of New Jersey Farmland and Farm Animals.

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation will receive title to Duke’s estate in Hillsborough known as Duke farms. The heiress’ Newport, R.I., and Hawaiian estates will be left to charitable foundations and turned into museums.

Duke also left bequests ranging from $500,000 to $3 million to several of her friends, lifetime trusts to a few longtime employees and $100,000 for the care of a dog that lived in her Beverly Hills, Calif., home.

She specified, however, that she wanted Imelda Marcos to eventually repay the $5 million she loaned her in 1989.

The will, signed in April, also specified that Duke’s adopted daughter Charlene Gail ″Chandi″ Heffner not be given any money. Duke adopted the former Hare Krishna devotee in 1988. The twice-married heiress was 75 at the time with no children and Heffner was 35.

Duke had ended the relationship by early 1991, and Heffner subsequently filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit.

Last month a state judge in New Jersey ruled against Duke’s lawyers who wanted the lawsuit dismissed.

Heffner lives on a Hawaiian ranch given to her by Duke.

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