What was Walter Kissinger's net worth? Inside Henry Kissinger's brother's 230-acre ranch as he dies at 96
After making a name for himself in business, Henry Kissinger's brother Walter Kissinger lived a low-profile life in California until his death
Walter Kissinger, the brother of former secretary of state Henry Kissinger, has died at 96. The businessman and philanthropist reportedly died on May 3, but his death has only just made the news. It is reported that the cause of death was long-term renal failure.
The younger Kissinger turned to business because "he became disillusioned with the idea of government service", reportedly due to the Communist witch hunts of the 1950s. He made a name for himself in the industry, quickly rising to become the chief executive of Allen Group, a commercial development company based in San Diego.
Unlike his brother, Walter stayed out of the media spotlight, and consequently not much is know about him. Nonetheless, after working for decades in business, he did manage to build a formidable reputation and net worth.
What was Walter Kissinger's net worth?
That question isn't easy to answer. Since Walter kept a low profile, there's little we actually know. The New York Times, which first reported his death, said he "became a millionaire at an early age". He raised his family in Huntington, New York, on their four-acre estate, which is said to be like a "minor castle". The five-bedroom mansion was at the center of a controversial lawsuit in 2016 when Walter was sued by his former servants.
Kevin and Elizabeth Cogan sued Walter for $1M in backpay, claiming that they took care of the home and the family for 10 years. They claim that despite their years of service, they weren't paid beyond the "occasional times they made $15 an hour for taking care of" Walter and his wife. They also claimed they were forced to stay in a mold-infested guest house. The family hit back by countersuing the Cogans for damaging the home and "dragging down the value". It is unclear just how much the property was worth, but it was reportedly a few millions. Walter sold the home and moved to San Rafael, California, in 2014 after his wife died.
After leaving the Allen Group in 1988, Walter "devoted himself to philanthropy and to helping revitalize the local economy," the NYT said. He founded the famous Long Island Research Institute and the Kissinger Family Foundation. Walter also owned a 230-acre Arabian horse ranch in Colorado, where the family spent their summers. A 2008 article claims Walter owns 15 of the 637,718 Arabian horses worldwide.
Since there's limited information about Walter, it's hard to determine what his net worth actually is. Between the 15 Arabian horses, Colorado ranch, sale of his New York home and years of service at Allen, it is safe to say that he is definitely worth millions. His brother is reportedly worth at least $50 million, but we may never know Walter's actual net worth. Walter is survived by his sons Wiliam, Thomas, John, daughter Dana and eight grandchildren, as well as his brother Henry Kissinger.