Lee Miglin

Lee Albert Miglin (July 12, 1924 – May 4, 1997) was an American real estate developer, business tycoon, and philanthropist. Miglin was one of 7 children born to a Roman Catholic family of Lithuanian descent; his father was a central Illinois coal miner. Miglin began his career selling silverware door-to-door and pancake batter out of the trunk of his car. In 1956, at the age of 31, he began his real estate career, taking a job as a broker with Chicago real estate magnate Arthur Rubloff. Miglin went on to become a successful real estate developer in partnership with J. Paul Beitler. They proposed building a 125-floor skyscraper in Chicago, the Miglin-Beitler Skyneedle; however, the building was never built.

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Lee Miglin
Born
Lee Albert Miglin[1]

(1924-07-12)July 12, 1924
DiedMay 4, 1997(1997-05-04) (aged 72)
Cause of deathMultiple stab wounds
NationalityAmerican
OccupationReal estate developer, business tycoon, philanthropist
Spouse(s)Marilyn Klecka
ChildrenMarlena Miglin
Duke Miglin

Lee Albert Miglin (July 12, 1924 – May 4, 1997) was an American real estate developer, business tycoon, and philanthropist.

Biography

Miglin was one of 7 children born to a Roman Catholic family of Lithuanian descent; his father was a central Illinois coal miner.[2][3]

Miglin began his career selling silverware door-to-door and pancake batter out of the trunk of his car.[3] In 1956, at the age of 31, he began his real estate career, taking a job as a broker with Chicago real estate magnate Arthur Rubloff.[3]

Miglin went on to become a successful real estate developer in partnership with J. Paul Beitler. They proposed building a 125-floor skyscraper in Chicago, the Miglin-Beitler Skyneedle; however, the building was never built.[4]

Murder

Miglin was murdered on May 4, 1997, by the spree killer Andrew Cunanan. Miglin's body was found in the garage of his home in Chicago's Gold Coast Historic District. He had been bound at the wrists, and his head was bound with tape, with only a breathing space under his nostrils. He had been tortured with a saw and a screwdriver, his ribs had been broken, he had been beaten and stabbed, and his throat had been slashed with a gardener's bow saw.[5][6][7]

Cunanan was already wanted in Minneapolis for murdering his friend Jeffrey Trail, 28, and ex-lover David Madson, 33, a few days earlier.[8] On May 9, 1997, Cunanan murdered 45-year-old William Reese, caretaker of the Finn's Point National Cemetery in Pennsville, New Jersey, then ditched Miglin's Lexus and stole Reese's red pickup truck. Following Miglin's murder, the FBI added Cunanan to its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives.

Cunanan also killed the Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace on July 15, 1997, two months after murdering Miglin. Cunanan committed suicide, by a gunshot to his head, on July 23, 1997.

Personal life

In 1959, Miglin married 20-year-old Marilyn Klecka, who was of Czech descent and, like Miglin, a Roman Catholic.[3] Klecka, a successful entrepreneur known as the Queen of Makeovers, established a prominent perfume and cosmetics company and was a celebrity[8] on the Home Shopping Network.[2] At the time of Miglin's murder, the couple had been married for 38 years.[8] They had two children: Marlena (born 1968) and actor Duke Miglin (born 1971).[3]

The second season of the anthology television series American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, recounted the Cunanan spree, and included appearances by Miglin, portrayed by Mike Farrell.[9] This portrayal was based on Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History by Maureen Orth, who speculated that Miglin may have been a closeted gay or bisexual man in a secret relationship with Cunanan.

References

  1. Westville Honors Alumni With Wall of Fame
  2. 1 2 McCormick, John (May 18, 1997). "A Lethal Road Trip". Newsweek. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Oarth, Maureen (December 5, 2017). Vulgar Favors: The Assassination of Gianni Versace. Bantam. ISBN 9780525482574.
  4. Kerch, Steve (May 11, 1997). "An Unbuilt Tower Is A Fine Legacy For Lee Miglin". Chicago Tribune.
  5. Chuck Goudie; Barb Markoff (May 2, 2017). "20 years after Cunanan murders, Lee Miglin's son talks". ABC7. Chicago. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  6. Martin, Andrew; Ferkenhoff, Eric (May 6, 1997). "The Mysterious Death Of Lee Miglin - Gold Coast Area Shocked By Slaying". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  7. Kastor, Elizabeth; Weeks, Linton (July 17, 1997). "Five Lives Cut Short". Washington Post.
  8. 1 2 3 Orth, Maureen (September 1997). "The Killer's Trail". Vanity Fair. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  9. "Mike Farrell as Lee Miglin for American Crime Story: Versace on FX". FX Networks.
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