Paul Greenwald is a one-time millionaire who went from living in one of Manhattan’s swankiest apartment towers to living in a homeless shelter. And now, the former hedge fund titan is nowhere to be found. On Saturday, the 70 year old Greenwald was reported missing. He was last seen leaving Bellevue Hospital and heading back to the men’s shelter where he had been staying.
Here’s what you need to know about Paul Greenwald.
1. Greenwald, 70, Was Wearing a Red Shirt and Carrying a Yellow Folder When He Was Last Seen, at 2AM on Saturday
On August 9, Greenwald checked into Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan’s Kips Bay. It’s not clear what prompted him to go to the hospital, ad no information is available about Greenwald’s health.
On Saturday, August 11, at 2AM, Greenwald checked out of the hospital. He was carrying a yellow folder and wearing a red shirt. He was presumably heading back to the Bellevue Men’s Shelter. But he has not been seen since.
Greenwald is about six feet tall and weighs 200 pounds. He has silver-gray hair and a beard.
2. Greenwald Has Been in a Downward Spiral Since at Least 2009, When He Had a High-Profile Fight With His Ex-Wife
Greenwald’s riches-to-rags story is both shocking and confusing. It’s hard to get your head around the fact that this former hedge fund manager, who used to live in luxury at the Waldorf Astoria towers, wound up living at Bellevue Men’s Shelter — and then suddenly vanished.
Apparently it all began back in 2009. On September 17 of that year, Greenwald allegedly called up his ex-wife, Michelle Greenwald. He must have known that she didn’t want to talk to him, because he lured her out of the house by telling her that her car was illegally parked. When she showed up to move her car, Greenwald was there waiting. He grabbed her by the arm and started screaming, which led to her filing charges against him. He was arrested a few days later.
It’s not clear how Greenwald spiraled downward to the point where he had to leave the Waldorf Astoria and move into a shelter. He was ordered to stop stalking and harassing Michelle — but there must be more to this story.
3. In 2010, Greenwald’s Lawyer Said He Would Be Sent to a Locked Psychiatric Ward For Treatment
Greenwald’s spiral downward continued even after the incident when he grabbed his ex-wife’s arm and screamed at her. In February 2010, he was in court on charges of felony criminal contempt for an alleged campaign of harassment against his ex-wife. It seems that Michelle already had an order of protection against him — and Greenwald violated that order, again and again. He was charged with felony criminal contempt because he was allegedly stalking and harassing her.
In court, Greenwald apparently unraveled even further. When the court officers brought him into the court, Greenwald yelled, “The judge is a f***ing crook!”
His lawyer, Ilissa Brownstein, said Greenwald would have to get treatment in a locked psychiatric ward run by the city. “It’s really sad,” she told the New York Post. “We need to just get him fit, get him back here and get rid of this case.”
4. Greenwald’s Ex-Wife Is an ‘International Foodie’ and Cookbook Author
Michelle Greenwald is an associate professor at NYU and also occasionally teaches at Columbia; she specializes in classes about marketing strategy.
In 1988 she was named one of Advertising Age’s 100 “Best and Brightest Women in Advertising and Marketing in the US.”
She is also the author of the popular cookbook, “The Magic Melting Pot.” The book features interview with famous chefs about their childhoods, their relationship with food, and their favorite recipes.
5. The Waldorf Astoria Calls Itself the -Pinnacle of New York Grandeur’ And Is a Far Cry From Bellevue Men’s Shelter, Where Greenwald Was Last Living
The Waldorf Astoria is both a hotel and a residential tower. The tower offers luxury apartments; you can take a look at some of the apartments on offer here. The Waldorf’s website says about itself,
“The hotel’s most distinctive residences include The Presidential Suite, The Royal Suite which was once the New York home of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and the official residence of the United States Ambassador to the United Nations. The Waldorf Towers is also where General and Mrs. Douglas Mac Arthur established residence upon his return from Asia, John and Jackie Kennedy spent their wedding night, and Cole Porter wrote many of his beloved Jazz classics.”
The Bellevue Men’s shelter, where Greenwald was last staying, is not physically very far from the Waldorf Astoria; the two locations are less than a mile apart. But they are a world apart. People living near the shelter have complained that it makes their neighborhood dangerous and unsavory. You can find video — and reporting — on what life is like for people in the shelter here.