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Viertel, Charles (Carl) (1902–1992)

Charles Viertel, one of Queensland's richest men and a respected, if eccentric, player of the stock market, has died aged 90.

Born into a poor Brisbane family at the start of this century, Mr Viertel used his accountancy training to play the markets.

He was estimated to have a personal fortune approaching $100 million. He was rated by last year's Business Review Weekly as the state's fourth-richest person.

Although his personal trademark was frugality, considerable amounts of his money went to charity.

Charles Viertel was born into a "dirt-poor" family of 11 at at Kangaroo Point, in Brisbane, in 1902.

He wore his first pair of shoes when he was 15 and his first pair of long trousers when he played cricket at the Gabba in 1918.

While family life was happy, the attitude of others was distressing.

"Because we were poor they thought we were nothing," he once said.

"That's what drove me to achieve. I wanted a taste of the power that money could bring, not the material things that money could buy. I wanted to make sure nobody stepped on me again."

Dux of Kangaroo Point High School, he went on to join the Public Service and study accountancy by correspondence.

Mr Viertel bought his first shares when he was 20.

He made his first fortune in real estate around Brisbane, but lost "a fair bit" in the 1929 stockmarket crash.

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'Viertel, Charles (Carl) (1902–1992)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/viertel-charles-carl-17176/text33674, accessed 23 January 2020.

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