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The Best Hated Man in America

Ferdinand Ward was widely hailed as the “Young Napoleon of Finance” less than a decade after coming to New York City at the age of twenty-one to make his fortune on Wall Street.  In fact, his charm and energy hid a total lack of conscience and contempt for anything but his own interests. Ward would become the Bernie Madoff of his day and his huge pyramid scheme would ultimately collapse into one of the greatest financial scandals in American history.  Grant Cottage Site Manager Dave Hubbard will examine Ward’s life, from his beginnings in western New York State, to his financial career, criminal activities, his connections to the Grants and the family’s financial ruin and his time in prison.