Ponzi's Scheme: True Story of a Financial Legend

THU, NOV 3, 2005 (36:51)

Mitchell Zuckoff discusses Charles Ponzi's mercurial rise and fall as he conjured up one get-rich-quick scheme after another. Zuckoff reveals how The Boston Post uncovered this "robbing Peter to pay Paul" system (as it was then known), and how Ponzi's life unraveled.

Before Charles Ponzi (1882-1949) sailed from Italy to the shores of America in 1903, his father assured him that the streets were really paved with gold and that Ponzi would be able to get a piece. Ponzi learned as soon as he disembarked that though the streets were often cobblestone, he could still make a fortune in a culture caught in the throes of the Gilded Age.

+ BIO: Mitchell Zuckoff

Mitchell Zuckoff is a professor of journalism at Boston University. He is the author of Ponzi's Scheme: The True Story of a Financial Legend, and Choosing Naia: A Family's Journey, and co-author with Dick Lehr of Judgment Ridge: The True Story Behind the Dartmouth Murders. His magazine work has appeared in The New Yorker, Fortune and elsewhere.

As a reporter at The Boston Globe, Zuckoff was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for investigative reporting. He received the Distinguished Writing Award from the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the Livingston Award for International Reporting, the Heywood Broun Award, and the Associated Press Managing Editors' Public Service Award.

Zuckoff received a master's degree from the University of Missouri and was a Batten Fellow at the Darden School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia.

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AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: The Crash of 1929 Series
FRONTLINE: Inside the Meltdown Series
FRONTLINE: The Warning Series