To be precise, Hal “gave Ty a job as a ‘sub rep’ [representative] in Ohio,” recalls Harold Nizamian, Dakin’s CEO at the time.
A photo from his student days shows a handsome dark-haired teen in a pristine military tunic, gazing off into the distance. But rather than seek loans or a part-time job, he left for Hollywood to try his luck at acting.
(On Warner’s instruction, the school would not release information about his time there.) Graduating from St. He had to hustle to make ends meet, busing tables, parking cars, and selling cameras and encyclopedias door to door.
“Ty emerged from an unhappy family and a youth devoid of educational advantages to become a self-made American success story,” the memo says.
Warner’s “humble” beginnings were described as days of little money and parental indifference that were almost Dickensian. Ty Warner grew up with his parents, Harold “Hal” and Georgia, and his much younger sister, Joyce, is no hovel.
Not surprisingly, he declined my interview requests through his publicist.
(Prosecutors also declined to comment, citing the pending appeal.) The more I pored through court documents and spoke with those I could persuade to talk—including former classmates and coworkers, plus a rare interview with the daughter of Warner’s former girlfriend (a young woman whose family lived with the billionaire as the Beanie Baby craze was taking off)—the more the mystique of this never-married college dropout unraveled.
“I had the feeling that it was hard for them to communicate,” says Warner’s former boss, who now lives in Palo Alto, California.
The fate of Warner’s mother, Georgia, sheds some light on that distance.
If Warner was gloating on January 14, however, you couldn’t tell.
At hearing’s end, he thanked his lawyers, caught an elevator downstairs, and, without a word, ducked through a cold rain into a waiting limousine.
Warner began to seem like the great and powerful Wizard of Oz: mysterious until a dog named Toto—a pet that might have made for a great Beanie Baby—yanked a curtain with his jaws and revealed the lonely person behind it.