News & Politics

Lady Who Left $100K to Hebrew University Was Not a Bum, Say Friends


We are happy to learn that earlier reports of the “bag lady” who left $100,000 to Hebrew University may have misidentified her, and that she was not actually homeless. The old woman, identified now as Ida Fischer, had what sounds like a healthy disdain for material goods, but resided in an apartment in Turtle Bay and “would have been horrified to be described as homeless,” says a friend…

After the impression left by previous reports that the woman was living as a miserly bum, sleeping amid filth and refuse while interest accumulated on money she was too crazy to spend on proper care for herself, this news comes as a relief.

Fischer did, however, accept money from neighbors to move their cars in avoidance of parking tickets, while sitting on a wad of money that at her death was split between the university and a couple of her friends, who correct the record in today’s Daily News. “She wasn’t even close to a bag lady,” one of them, Gabor Szanto, said. “She was just not fashion conscious.”

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