Bad Blood

(Axel Boer) #1


| ONE |

A Purposeful Life

lizabeth Anne Holmes knew she wanted to be a successful
entrepreneur from a young age.
When she was seven, she set out to design a time machine
and filled up a notebook with detailed engineering drawings.

When she was nine or ten, one of her relatives asked her at a family
gathering the question every boy and girl is asked sooner or later:
“What do you want to do when you grow up?”

Without skipping a beat, Elizabeth replied, “I want to be a

“Wouldn’t you rather be president?” the relative asked.
“No, the president will marry me because I’ll have a billion dollars.”
These weren’t the idle words of a child. Elizabeth uttered them with
the utmost seriousness and determination, according to a family
member who witnessed the scene.

Elizabeth’s ambition was nurtured by her parents. Christian and
Noel Holmes had high expectations for their daughter rooted in a
distinguished family history.

On her father’s side, she was descended from Charles Louis
Fleischmann, a Hungarian immigrant who founded a thriving
business known as the Fleischmann Yeast Company. Its remarkable
success turned the Fleischmanns into one of the wealthiest families in
America at the turn of the twentieth century.

Bettie Fleischmann, Charles’s daughter, married her father’s Danish
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