Famous Suicides Ivar Kreuger

About the famous Swedish Match King Ivar Kreuger, biography and history of the suicide.

IVAR KREUGER (1880-1932)

Life: Swedish industrialist and "Match King" Ivar Kreuger was the world's most brilliant thief, forger, gambler, and swindler. Although he supplied 65% of the world's matches from his factories located in 34 countries, Kreuger's dream was "to control every match produced on the face of the earth." He loaned vast sums of money to 15 different countries (including France, Spain, Poland, Greece, Hungary, and Yugoslavia) in exchange for monopolistic control of the match industry. His generous state loans gained for him the reputation of "Savior of Europe" and "Savior of the World." Obsessed with the continuous growth of his empire, Kreuger purchased everything from gold mines, forests, and railways to telephone companies, film companies, and banks. Unwavering faith in his own "superior" intellect, cleverness, and manipulative talents propelled Kreuger into the role of world financier and statesman. The Wall Street crash of 1929 forced Kreuger into financial collapse.

Death: Kreuger forged signatures on loan papers, faked financial records, created imaginary banks to hold imaginary money, and was engaged in innumerable other fraudulent business transactions. The economic crisis following 1929 left Kreuger facing bankruptcy and criminal exposure. All attempts to restructure his holdings failed, and on March 12, 1932, he shot himself. As one historian of the Kreuger legend said, "Financial genius or gifted rogue, superman or imposter, sane or mad, he cannot readily be reduced to human dimensions."

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