“Profiles: Little Giant-1” – The New Yorker (May, 1930)

One of the unique aspects of The Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn is the fascinating people that have owned it.

One of the first owners of (the now luxury hotel in Palm Springs) The Willows, Samuel Untermyer, was a famous lawyer known for being a legal tactician, showing brilliance in the courtroom, and for taking on famous giants of the day (such as John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford, and J.P. Morgan). “He always picked his enemies big” is how part one of The New Yorker’s 1930 profile describes Untermyer. The article appeared shortly after he had acquired The Willows, which happened in the late 1920s. “He still tries cases now and then, but finds little pleasure or exercise in it since all hope of spirited resistance has vanished.”

The New Yorker started in 1925 (source) and is still popular today. That means that this profile of Samuel Untermyer would have been one of the very first ones that it had published.

This is the first article in a two-part series by The New Yorker that profiles Samuel Untermyer. Having been famous for many things related to law, the article says that “preparation, imagination, and audacity made Untermyer a great lawyer.” To discover intriguing stories of how Untermyer gained his popularity, you can read the article by Alva Johnston here.

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