Inheritor of Johnson & Johnson fortune dies

She was a Polish farmer’s daughter who emigrated to the United States, a maid who worked for a wealthy American heir, a third wife who inherited much of the Johnson & Johnson fortune after a sensational court battle with her six stepchildren.
Barbara Piasecka Johnson, the widow of J. Seward Johnson Sr., heir to millions made from bandages, baby oil and pharmaceutical products, has died at age 76.
Johnson was best known for a nasty legal battle after her husband’s 1983 death, a feud that pitted her against his six children from two previous marriages. She largely prevailed, emerging with about $300 million from a fortune worth more than $500 million.
A resident of Monaco and one of the world’s richest women, Johnson went on to become an avid art collector, owning works by Rembrandt, Rubens, Gauguin and Raphael.
Her family announced her death Thursday in the Polish daily Rzeczpospolita, saying she died Monday “after a long and serious illness.” It didn’t give any further details about her illness or where she died but said she will be buried April 15 in Wroclaw, the south-western Polish city where she spent much of her youth.
J. Seward Johnson Sr. bequeathed most of his fortune of more than $500 million to her, largely excluding from his will both his children and Harbour Branch, an oceanographic research institute.
A settlement was reached in 1986 under which she kept more than $300 million, with the remaining going to Johnson Sr.’s children, the oceanographic institute, taxes and legal fees.

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